Today is January 22, 2016, which means that 10 years ago, we witnessed the second greatest individual scoring output in NBA history when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. The only person who scored more in a game, of course, was Wilt Chamberlain in his famous 100-point game.
With the Lakers struggling against a poor Raptors team, Bryant put together a 26-point first half. Usually, that is unheard of. However, Kobe doubled that and then some in the second half en route to 55 points in the final 24 minutes of the game (27 in the third quarter, 28 in the fourth). The fact that the Lakers needed this eruption from Bryant to overcome a double-digit deficit makes it that much more amazing. He scored 81 of the teams 122 points, which means he provided virtually two-thirds of their scoring output.
Kobe has provided Lakers fans with countless memories throughout his storied career, but this tops the list for a lot of people. On the anniversary of one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history, we take a look back and relive the game that is simply known as “81.”