Even though the Los Angeles Lakers are lottery-bound, Kobe Bryant refuses to go gently into that good night. After scoring a season-high 38 points on Tuesday, Kobe kept it going with a 27-point, 12-rebound effort against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night. For a second there, however, it seemed like it wouldn’t matter, considering Ryan Anderson posterized Kobe while the Pels were on the comeback trail:
It’s hard for people to remember how many points you scored when you get dunked on like that, but the Mamba made sure he wrote the ending the Kobe loyalists came there to see with this three-point dagger:
There’s a bit of a cognitive dissonance in the highlight, as the crowd is clearly delighted to have witnessed such a vintage Kobe moment, but Bryant still gives them the Mutombo finger-wag (which should probably not be used by someone who just got dunked on) as if he’s a wrestling heel. Of course, it was all just part of Kobe enjoying himself. Look at how joyously he dances around with his teammates in the huddle afterwards! Peak Kobe would have spent the whole timeout mean-mugging, but this is an older, gentler Kobe after all.