LeBron James' 40-point, 16-assist gem against Sacramento was awesome. So was Stephen Curry's explosion at the Garden. There were plenty of amazing performances this year, but none matched what Kobe Bryant just did.
With the entire season on the line, Kobe Bryant showed us why he is one of the the greatest players of all time. The line? 47 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks, three steals.
I mean...really? It shouldn't be possible for a 34-year-old to dominate so thoroughly. There was not an aspect of the game in which he did not excel.
The rebounding was great, as was the passing. The steals and blocks were just as huge. But when it came down to it, Kobe did what Kobe does best: score. He scored better than he has all year, topping his season high with a ridiculous 47 points.
And he did it at the not-so-friendly confines of the Rose Garden. The Lakers are 4-17 in their last 21 trips to Portland. By the end of the game, he had the crowd chanting "MVP!"
Take all of that, and remember that the Lakers probably have to win three of the final four games (including tonight) just to make the playoffs, and we see what makes Kobe's performance so incredible. With everything on the line, Kobe was at his best. Just like he always is.
Was Kobe's performance tonight the best of the NBA season?
Oh, and he was at his best for the entire game. As in, he never sat. A quick glance at the box score shows what you probably could have predicted before the game: Kobe played all 48 minutes.
Had LeBron scored 50 points to save Miami's winning streak, he might have an argument. If Carmelo's 50-pointer had come against the fully loaded version of the Heat he might as well. But ultimately, there just wasn't much meaning in their best performances.
Kobe's meant everything. Without Kobe's outburst, the Lakers might be on the outside of the playoffs looking in right now. He could have just single-handedly saved the Lakers' season.
When you combine the stats and the importance of the game, Kobe's performance tops anything done by anyone else in the league this season. Heck, it's one of the best games he's played in his entire career.
Take a bow, Kobe. Or if you prefer (as I'm guessing you would), grab an ice pack and take a nice long nap. However you choose to celebrate, just know that it was well deserved.