Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 80

·1 min read

After getting off to a promising start early in the 2006-07 season, the Los Angeles Lakers started to come apart at the seams during the second half of the schedule.

They won only 42 games and got the seventh seed in the Western Conference, which earned them a first-round playoff date with the Phoenix Suns.

A year prior, L.A. came extremely close to knocking off the Suns in the first round after taking a 3-1 series lead, but things were different in the spring of 2007.

Injuries and losing streaks had decimated team chemistry and morale, leaving Kobe Bryant as the only connective tissue the Lakers had left.

They lost the first two games of the matchup, and when they returned home to Staples Center for Game 3, they desperately needed a pick-me-up.

Bryant provided it by scoring 45 points on 15-of-26 shooting and dishing off six assists, as Los Angeles surged in the second half for a 95-89 win.

It was the Lakers’ only win of the series, and they would have to go through several more months of purgatory before things finally turned around.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire