Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are two of the NBA's best players. Over the past two games for the both of them, they have reasserted themselves at the top of that list.
Often times it there seems to be a rivalry created by the media between Bryant and James, and weather there is or there isn't the performances that the two of them turned in at Madison Square Garden this past week were two to remember.
Starting with Bryant, he turned in more points than any player ever in a single game at MSG. Bryant, in his 12 year out of Lower Merion High School, dropped a whopping 61 points, shooting 19-31 (61%) and 20-20 from the free throw line. Bryant turned in a game in which he so often does proving he is a man playing amongst boys.
So with Bryant's performance fresh on every ones' mind, how would James respond. The first instinct is that there is no possible way to out do a guy who just scored 61 points, or maybe there is. James scored an impressive 52 points, 17-33 (51%), also adding 11 assists and 10 rebounds to go along with it. James also adding himself to the "grown man category" by becoming the first player since the NBA-ABA merger to have a 50 point triple double and the only other player besides Michael Jordan to have two 50 point games at MSG. James' first 50 point game against the Knicks (March 5, 2008) James fell only 2 rebounds short of a triple-double. Bryant in his MSG performance registered 0 rebounds and only 3 assists.
Not to take away anything from Bryant or James, but the media likes to create a buzz about playing at MSG and it is one of those arenas that has a certain aura about it, but the fact remains that the Knicks are a horrible team and defense is their biggest issue. With that being said when Bryant and James are at their best they can do what they did to just about anyone, and it is certainly fun to watch when it happens.
Bryant encored his 61 point performance with a pedestrian 36 points against the Raptors. James' encore will come on Sunday. Against the Lakers. At home, putting the Cavaliers perfect home record (23-0) on the line.