People like to try to minimize such an amazing game by Kobe by claiming the Raptors were terrible, but let's take a look at the guys on their 2005-06 roster.
Chris Bosh - 1x NBA champion, 7x All-Star, Toronto's all-time leading scorer, he was putting up 22.5/9.2/2.6 on 50.5% in 2005-06. Had 18/8/2 during the game.
Jalen Rose - Led the Fab Five in scoring (19 PPG), a career-best 24/4/5 NBA player. 17/5/6 during the game.
Matt Bonner - 1x NBA champion, 1x NBA 3PT% Leader, a decent role playe for his limited minutes.
Jose Calderon - Toronto's all-time leader in assists, a career 10/2.5/7.2 player.
Charlie Villanueva - Averaged 13/6.4/1.1 in 2005-06.
Mike James - He was averaging 20.3/3.3/5.8 on 37 MPG and 79 games in 2005-06. He put up a nice double-double during the game. Led his team with 26 points, 10 assists, 2 steals on 66.7% FG, 75% 3PT.
Meanwhile Kobe had Odom and shit for teammates in 2006. Smush, Kwame, Mihm, Cook, George, Walton?
Other reasons Kobe's performance was so impressive:
LA was down by 14 at the half (TOR 63 - LAL 49). Kobe's insane run in the 2nd half ended the game with LA up by 18 (TOR 104 - LAL 122).
He put up those 81 points on incredible efficiency: 60.9% FG (28-46), 53.8% 3PT (7-13), 90% FT (18-20).
He led all 4 quarters in scoring; 1st- 14 pts, 2nd- 12 pts, 3rd- 27 pts, 4th- 28 pts
He put on this insane scoring show with only 3 turnovers in the game. In comparison, Odom had 4 turnovers on his 8 points in that game. Two days before Kobe's 81-point game, LeBron was losing to the Warriors and putting up 14 points on 6 turnovers and 5 for 22 shooting (22.7%) from the field.
Kobe's advanced metrics during this game: 73.9 TS%, 23.0 AST%, 158 ORtg, 107 DRtg
C'mon i'm a kobe fan but you didn't have to throw lebron in it b/c i'm sure there are games lebron had that kobe won't duplicate. (not including boston game 5 this year b/c kobe has had games like that)
But it is severely underrated. Lakers were down 18. He did all of this in regulation, no overtime. But of course people say it wasn't good cause raptors suck. Yet no one has done what kobe did that night. one of the best displays of offensive ability ever. probably the best single display of offensive arsenal in one game.
Indeed. I really don't think this Kobe gets enough credit for this game. Definitely the greatest scoring exhibition in the history of the NBA.
People like to spread bullshit like, "lol at the Raptors defense," but if you were to go back and rewatch the game, I think you would agree that nobody had a chance of stopping Kobe that night. He simply got an incredibly hot hand, and drained tough shot after tough shot.
I still remember where I was when I watched this game.