Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 92

·1 min read

After a disastrous maiden voyage without Shaquille O’Neal in which they missed the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers started to stabilize the ship during the 2005-06 season.

Despite having less talent on paper than the year prior, they won 45 games and earned the seventh seed in the Western Conference, which got them back into the playoffs.

Their reward: facing the talent-laden, running and gunning Phoenix Suns in the first round.

The Suns were led by Steve Nash, who had just won his second straight regular season MVP, and their “seven seconds or less” offensive philosophy was about to turn the NBA from “slowtime” into Showtime.

Most figured Phoenix was about to cruise past the Lakers like a sharp knife cutting through butter.

As expected, L.A. lost Game 1, 107-102, but Kobe Bryant made sure his team would deliver a surprise.

Behind his 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, the Lakers took Game 2, 99-93, and stole the Suns’ home-court advantage.

Late in the fourth quarter, he served up a poster dunk on Nash, almost as if he was sending a message about who should’ve really won the MVP that year.

With this victory, it looked like maybe the Lakers would have a chance of knocking off the superior Suns.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire