Honoring Kobe Bryant’s 40th, a look back at the Mamba’s top 5 games versus OKC

Kobe Bryant, OKC Thunder (Photo by Dave Sandford /NBAE via Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant, OKC Thunder (Photo by Dave Sandford /NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 6
OKC Thunder
Kobe Bryant vs. OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

At this stage, we jump into playoff games as some of the most compelling contests between the LA Lakers and OKC Thunder occurred on the postseason courts.

First up and coming in at number three on the Mamba list is:

May 18, 2012

Game 3, Lakers win 99-96 to get back in series after trailing 2-0

This game was a must-win for the Lakers who trailed in the series by two games. Despite going on to lose to the upstart Thunder this game exemplified just how much Kobe Bryant hated to lose. If that reminds you of someone closer to home, perhaps that’s why Bryant refers to Westbrook as his current NBA doppelganger.

In this match, Bryant posted 36 points on a terrible shooting game hitting only nine of his 26 attempts from the field. The difference was his aggression as he got to the charity stripe 18 times and connected on every single attempt. With 50 percent of his scoring coming at the line the points Bryant did score was critical as he willed his Lakers to the win.

In addition, the Mamba grabbed seven rebounds, dished six assists and snared two steals. He finished with a plus +2 for his efforts. 14 of Bryant’s 36 points were scored in the final frame.