With the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff hopes becoming more and more endangered in March 2007, Kobe Bryant decided that he had to go on the offensive.
After spending much of the season largely trusting his teammates, he exploded for 65 points in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers to stop a seven-game losing streak.
Two nights later, L.A. hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although Kevin Garnett and company were also going through a miserable season, Bryant knew the Lakers needed him to continue to be aggressive.
His 14 first-quarter points made sure his team got out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter. With Minnesota threatening to make it a competitive contest in the second half, Bryant added 28 more points, giving him 50 on the night.
It all resulted in a much-needed 109-102 win for the Lakers.
They had missed the playoffs two years earlier, and Bryant was very determined to not suffer the same fate a second time in three seasons.