Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 89

Toward the end of the 2012-13 season, the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to salvage what had turned out to be a disastrous year by clinching one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.

They had been expected to contend for the championship with their “superteam” of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, but numerous injuries decimated the team, its goals and expectations.

On April 12, Los Angeles hosted Stephen Curry and the ascendent Golden State Warriors, and Bryant tried to ensure that his team would be in the postseason.

He went all-out, as usual, scoring 34 points despite appearing to get injured more than once during the contest.

The Lakers trailed for most of the game, but with just over three minutes left, they trailed by only two points. Bryant attempted to drive on Klay Thompson when his Achilles gave out while getting fouled.

He managed to hit both free throws to tie the game, but his Achilles was torn, and he was done for the season.

The Lakers won the game, 118-116, and ended up barely qualifying for the playoffs. It was another example of Bryant’s iron will that had been driving the team for nearly a decade and a half.

He was willing to do whatever it took to get his team to the playoffs — even if it meant risking and sacrificing the rest of his career.


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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire