It was a storybook finish for Kobe Bryant and the sixth 60-point game of his career. It also was the most shots taken by anyone in an NBA game in the last 30 seasons. The Black Mamba played 42 minutes and took an astonishing career-high 50 shots — helping the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz, 101-96.
Bryant addressed the crowd after the game:
“I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout,” Bryant said. “You’ll always be in my heart, and I sincerely, sincerely appreciate it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys.”
He also had a few laughs after finishing his 1,346th regular-season game with 33,643 career points.
“The thing that had me cracking up all night long is, I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball,” Bryant said with a grin. “And then the last night, they’re like, `Don’t pass it!”‘
Elsewhere, Golden State Warriors set the new mark for regular-season excellence – becoming the first 73-win team, surpassing Chicago Bulls’ NBA regular season, by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104. Steph Curry reached yet one more shooting milestone, becoming the first player to make 400 3-pointers in a season by knocking down 10 from long range on the way to 46 points and 402 total 3s.