With Klay Thompson’s eruption of 60 points in 3 quarters last night vs the Indiana Pacers. He has proven once again that he is undoubtedly one of the game’s deadliest scorers. As impressive as that performance was, it brought me back to a time when the man known as “The Black Mamba” performed that same feat.
December 20th 2005
Coming off of a loss the previous night to the Houston Rockets, Kobe Bryant wanted to make a statement & he made sure to do just that. Kobe Preceded to torch the Dallas Mavericks on tune to outscoring the Mavs himself 62-61 at the end of the 3 quarters. Yes you seen that right, Kobe outscored an entire team through 3 quarters. (the Lakers as a team were winning 95-61)
Now before I go into comparing the two games I am not taking away from anything Klay did. It was amazing. The fact he did it in only 29 minutes (took Kobe 33 minutes) will make some argue with me that his game was better. They are wrong.
Kobe- 62 pts. 18-31 fg. 4-10 3pt. 22-25 ft.
Klay – 60 pts. 21-33 fg. 8-13 3pt. 10-11 ft.
Looking at the box score you can see both players were in another zone. You can also see that Kobe benefited way more from free throw attempts, while Klay got an extra bump from 3. but when you dive deeper you realize what Kobe did just shouldn’t of been capable of happening.
The Lakers of the 2005-06 season wasn’t a team of many stars. There was only one alpha, The Mamba. Meaning teams could focus entire game plans on stopping Kobe by any means necessary. Which is exactly what the Mavericks attempted to do. From double teams, zone defense, even trapping him backcourt. none of this worked. Klay has been able to benefit off of the fact that teams cannot solely focus on him with 3 other alphas beside him. (Steph Curry, Kevin Durant & Draymond Green) 2 of them (Curry & Durant) who are arguably better scorers than Klay himself, & can just as easily have a game like he had.
Another reason Kobe’s performance was out of this world was that he was single handedly was beating the entire Dallas Mavericks team by himself. (62-61) I don’t think people realize how hard that is to do, especially against a Dallas team that was a perennial 50 win team at the time.
Lastly the main reason Kobe did it better, was simply the team he was playing with while accomplishing this task. Do the names Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown ring bells for you? If so you don’t need me to explain, if not. You are lucky you didn’t have to suffer as we did.
Klay deserves a ton of praise. Just never forget the day The Mamba did it better.