Kobe Bryant: The 10 Most Clutch Moments of the LA Lakers Star's Career

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2011

Kobe Bryant: The 10 Most Clutch Moments of the LA Lakers Star's Career

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    There have been some clutch moments defining the career of Kobe Bryant.

    Time and time again, Bryant has delivered when his Lakers need him most and the game is on the line.

    The black mamba is known for its silent attack before striking with its lethal venom.

    That nickname sounds awfully appropriate after watching the videos in this slideshow.

    Enjoy these classic Kobe game-winning moments.

10. Team USA Intrasquad Game

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    This one wasn't in a real game, but that doesn't sweeten the scenario any less.

    In a scrimmage against his teammates, Bryant showed why he remains an extraordinary talent.

    Tayshaun Prince picked a bad day to try to challenge him.

9. Jeff Green Learns About Defense in the NBA

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    Remember when the Thunder were still the Sonics? Jeff Green is probably trying to forget.

    During his rookie season, Green made the unfortunate mistake of attempting to challenge Bryant on the perimeter at the end of a game.

    Clearly, it didn't turn out too well, as Kobe welcomed him to the league in style.

8. Cleaning Up the Glass Against the Spurs

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    Let's go back in time and dig deep into the Kobe vault for one of his classic performances.

    Looking young, spry and rather impressively athletic, Bryant made his presence known at the rim even if he couldn't get Derek Fisher to pass him the ball.

    You've gotta know where the Mamba is at all times when he's on the court, and the Spurs' defensive lapse cost them dearly in this one.

7. Tip-In at a Crucial Time vs. Pacers

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    Another classic example of Kobe cleaning the glass and not being afraid of doing the dirty work—Bryant made his impact felt against the Pacers.

    After torturing them for all 48 minutes with jumper after jumper, Bryant crashed the boards at exactly the right time and put the exclamation point on this game.

    There is nothing one-dimensional about his game.

6. Bank Shot to Fan the Flames of the Heat

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    This was a classic contest against a Miami team that was LeBron James-less at the time while he was still in Cleveland, but that didn't lessen the intensity whatsoever.

    With the Lakers down by two and just seconds left on the clock, Bryant did the impossible and banked in a three-pointer to nail it down for the Lakers.

    The strength to get the shot off is amazing, but the fact that he actually made it is just downright incredible.

5. Kobe Does Not Like the Celtics

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    This was a regular season matchup, but the rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics really heightened this achievement.

    Ray Allen couldn't have played better defense if he had tried against Bryant, but it didn't matter, as Bryant seemed destined to score.

    The best part about the play is that it was a broken one, and Kobe still managed to turn a little bit of nothing into a whole lot of something with his club down by just a point.

4. Sorry, Jason Kidd

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    Jason Kidd has had a stellar career as a point guard in the league, but this was not one of his finer moments during his Phoenix tenure.

    Kidd got absolutely toyed with at the hands of Bryant, and a young Kobe made a Kidd in his prime look like one that just got schooled on the playground.

    There might not have been a gray cloud on the court, but Bryant made it rain all over the place.

3. Kobe Shows Denver Who's the Boss

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    Literally just hours after he closed the book on his infamous court case in Denver, Bryant showed the city that he truly had no fear.

    Despite the public derision that he endured throughout the course of the accusations, Kobe literally rose up over everyone else and made it happen for his club.

    A champion always comes out on top, and that's exactly what happened in this heavily anticipated contest.

2. Kobe Ties It in Regulation, Wins It in OT vs. Phoenix

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    Game-tying shot and the game-winning shot all in one game for Mr. Bryant? That's pretty standard when it comes to watching his highlight reel.

    A Lakers team that was the underdog in the first round of the playoff series against the Suns got a big boost from Kobe when he delivered with the game on the line.

    It's pretty amazing that he was able to come through with such regularity in the biggest of moments, and even more incredible when one thinks about the regularity with which he's done it.

1. Fadeaway Three-Pointer in Double-OT for the Win

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    Oftentimes people forget about how electric Bryant was in the prime of his career, but this video should serve as a stern reminder.

    The fadeaway three-pointer was a rainbow that almost scraped the ceiling, and the fact that he was able to get it off before the defender got in his grill is incredible considering the pressure of the moment.

    While he may not be the same player he once was, there's no doubting that Bryant remains one of the most feared players with just seconds remaining and the game on the line.

    Nobody wants to leave the fate of the game in Bryant's hands.

    Except for Kobe himself.

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