LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant admitted was up for his last game ever against the Boston Celtics.
Bryant dropped 34 points on his long-time nemesis in green, looking like his old self with fadeaways, threes, and hitting contested shots. He was 11-of-28 shooting, but he was putting on a show that the crowd at Staples Center ate up.
“He looked like old Kobe,” Boston’s Isaiah Thomas said (he had 26 points on the night). “From the jump, from the first play, he just had a different energy about him.”
“Two things crossed our staff’s minds,” Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens said. “Number one is, as much as we enjoy watching him on TV, I’m glad that we never will (see him in person) again. Number two is, I can’t imagine what he was like 10 years ago because he looked like he was 29 out there.”
It wasn’t enough, the Celtics executed better in the fourth quarter and got a 107-100 win, clinching a playoff spot officially.