Kobe Bryant Wins NBA Player of the Night After Burning Rockets for Triple-Double

Mike D'Antoni or not, Kobe Bryant wasn't going to let the Los Angeles Lakers lose Sunday.

It was a night that saw Kevin Durant log his first career triple-double for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jose Calderon dish out 18 assists for the Toronto Raptors. It was a night when a defensively challenged Brook Lopez managed to lead the NBA with four blocked shots and Russell Westbrook dropped 30 points. It was also night where Pau Gasol notched his 15,000th career point.

Most importantly, though, it was a night that bore witness to Kobe being more Kobe than anyone could have fathomed.

Bryant posted a triple-double of his own en route to leading the still D'Antoni-less Lakers to their fourth victory in five games.

Stat Line: 22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals on 50 percent shooting.

Kobe never ceases to amaze anyone.

With D'Antoni's sideline debut being delayed yet again and the team still without point guard Steve Nash, the shooting guard continued to raise the bar in Los Angeles.

In just over 35 minutes, he posted a stat line that boggled the mind; he took the reins on offense and never looked back.

It's not that the Houston Rockets are the most formidable of opponents. Though they are a much-improved team, they simply shouldn't stand a chance against a star-studded Lakers squad playing at their best.

That said, this game meant everything in Los Angeles. A win put the Lakers at .500 for the first time all season—a reality no one thought they'd be facing 10 contests in—and ensured the call for this powerhouse's head was forced to be taken down another notch.

Let's not forget that the Rockets are no strangers to pushing a team like the Miami Heat to the brink, either. Toss in D'Antoni's continued absence, and you had makings of a bout that could have been one for Los Angeles to forget.

Unless you looked at Kobe, t...

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