TDIKH: March 8

March 8, 2013

34 years, 197 days

Kobe Bryant had just nailed a pair of clutch 3-pointers, so the Toronto Raptors knew what was coming next — they just couldn’t stop it.

Double-teamed on the inbounds pass, Bryant pump-faked the first defender, then shot over the second one, sinking an overtime-forcing triple with 5.5 seconds left.

Tied in the extra period with 10.6 seconds remaining, Toronto once again sent a double-team at the Lakers superstar, but he simply drove around both Raptors and threw down the game-winning dunk.

Bryant finished with 41 points, 12 assists and six rebounds in Los Angeles’ 118-116 win. Despite committing nine turnovers, he also shot 11-of-22 from the field, 5-of-10 on 3-pointers and 14-of-16 at the free throw line.

The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points just two days after rallying from 25 points down in New Orleans.

“It’s like: ‘Damn, are you kidding again?’” Bryant told reporters. “Do we collectively have the energy to do this again? And we did.”

The Lakers tripped up early, trailing by 12 after one quarter. It took a 30-20 fourth period and some Bryant heroics to avoid defeat.

Bryant scored 15 points in the frame and began a classic finish by hitting a shot clock-beating 3-pointer with 1:40 left. A minute later, he hit a catch-and-shoot triple from the far corner to cut L.A.’s deficit to one.

Of course, Bryant saved his best for the final seconds, connecting on his final 3 to force overtime.

The Lakers slipped in the beginning of the added frame, but Steve Nash hit a trey of his own with 45 seconds remaining to set up Bryant’s for-the-win slam.

Nash provided 22 points for the Lakers, while Dwight Howard racked up 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.

Kobe performances on this day in history: