( 4UMF NEWS ) Kobe Bryant Score 60 Points In Final Game:
Kobe Bryant admitted he was left “in shock” by the remarkable 60-point performance that led the Los Angeles Lakers to victory in the final game of his career.
Bryant looked likely to go out with a defeat at the end of a desperately poor Lakers season, with the team trailing the Utah Jazz by 10 points with just over two minutes to play at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
But then, in an extraordinary ending, he lifted the team on his shoulders one more time to lead the Lakers to an enthralling 101-96 triumph.
“It is hard to believe that it happened this way,” Bryant said. “I am still in shock about it. To be here, for it to happen like this in front of the fans and my teammates and their families … it is still a shock to me.”
As the end of his life in pro basketball closed in, Bryant made his final four shots, including a pull-up jumper with 31 seconds left to give the Lakers a lead they would never relinquish and four clutch free throws.
The Jazz, who led for most of the night, had no answer to the finishing burst. Bryant shot 22-for-50 from the field on the night, but made the ones that mattered.
Bryant admitted that keeping his emotions in check was the biggest challenge on a night where there was an ongoing stream of tributes remembering his career. Magic Johnson introduced Bryant to the court, and countless friends and former teammates were in attendance.
“There were a lot of points there where I got emotional,” Bryant said. “When I first ran out of the tunnel. When I put on my jersey. When those moments happen you catch yourself. You have got to block that out because none of it makes a difference if you go out there and completely lay an egg and mess up the situation.
“I am just glad it ended up like this. I can’t believe it.”