Kobe Bryant with the vicious dunk over Chris Paul (VIDEO)

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Kobe Bryant may have won the battle early, but Chris Paul was the one who won the war.

Bryant finished with an impressive 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting on Friday, none more eye-popping than this steal and powerful breakaway slam dunk over Paul that had Staples Center buzzing in the game’s opening minutes.

In a game filled with highlights, this was the one that stood out on the Lakers side. Although if you asked Bryant about it afterward, he’d likely have said he would have preferred to have a more pedestrian step-back jumper that would have sealed his team’s victory — like the one Paul knocked down¬†with 19 seconds remaining that helped the Clippers hold on.

A shot which, by the way, was converted over Bryant.