Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kobe's 60, Golden State's 73 add up to memorable night

In his finale after 20 seasons with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant is mobbed by teammates after a 60-point effort in his final game.

Los Angeles Times/TNS

In his finale after 20 seasons with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant is mobbed by teammates after a 60-point effort in his final game.

For Golden State, it's on to the playoffs as record setters.

For Kobe Bryant, it's on to the next chapter after a memorable farewell.

The moment wasn't too big for Stephen Curry, the Warriors or Bryant on Wednesday night, when on one of the most anticipated nights in regular-season NBA history — if not the most — the stars absolutely delivered.

Bryant had 60 points in his last game after 20 seasons and the Lakers, the only team he ever played for, sent him off a winner in Los Angeles. The Lakers (17-65) capped the worst season in franchise history by defeating the Jazz 101-96.

The defending champion Warriors became the first 73-win team, beating the Grizzlies 125-104 to finish 73-9 and break Chicago's mark of 72 victories, set in 1995-96. Curry scored 46 and smashed his mark of 286 3-pointers he set a year ago. He hit 10 from long range Wednesday to wind up with 402 for the season; the reigning MVP has four of the top seven 3-point shooting seasons in league history.

Michael Jordan released a statement lauding the Warriors, as did commissioner Adam Silver. "The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken," Jordan said. "The Warriors have been a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what they do in the playoffs."

Curry also joined an exclusive club by shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 45 percent on 3s and 90 percent from the free-throw line in a season. Only two others have done it after playing more than 40 games: Steve Nash, who stopped by Curry's locker after the game, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

After his sixth 60-point game — on 22-of-50 shooting including 6-of-21 from 3-point range, plus 10-of-12 on free throws — Bryant, nicknamed "The Black Mamba," addressed the fans at Staples Center, ending with "Mamba out." Minutes later, T-shirts emblazoned with those two words were for sale on his website.

Utah was eliminated from playoff contention shortly before tipoff thanks to No. 8 West seed Houston's win over Sacramento.

"You know, I can't believe how fast 20 years went by. This is crazy. This is absolutely crazy," Bryant told the crowd.

Minutes earlier at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, about 370 miles up Interstate 5 from the Staples Center, Golden State celebrated in front of its raucous fans.

Draymond Green — the player who openly talked about wanting the record the most — came away with the game ball.

"We were going to play 82 games, anyway," Green said. "We might as well try to win. It means that I'm on the best team ever. Not many people can say that — 15 guys can say that."

President Barack Obama sent a tweet that said: "Congrats to the #warriors, a great group of guys on and off the court. If somebody had to break the Bulls' record, I'm glad it's them."

All-Star controversy: The league is expected to address team owners today on the controversy surrounding the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. The briefing would occur during a regularly scheduled board of governors meetings in New York. After North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 2, which limits the legal protections of LGBT individuals, the NBA said it is "deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect."

Firings: As expected, the Kings fired coach George Karl, who has the fifth-most wins in league history but went 44-68 in nearly 11/2 seasons in Sacramento. … Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said he's staying, but that coach Randy Wittman was fired. Washington wound up at .500 and out of the playoffs. Wittman went 178-199 in 41/2 seasons with the Wizards.

Kobe's 60, Golden State's 73 add up to memorable night 04/14/16 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2016 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.