LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 60 points in his final career game — including 17 straight in the fourth quarter — and the Los Angeles Lakers used a late rally to defeat the Utah Jazz 101-96 on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Bryant, who had 23 points in the final period, finished shooting 22 of 50 from the floor – an NBA record for field-goal attempts – and 6 of 21 from 3-point range. He left the game with 4.1 seconds remaining to a standing ovation and chants of “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe!”
Back-to-back buckets and a 3-pointer by Bryant pulled Los Angeles within 96-95 with 59 seconds left. Bryant drained a 20-foot jumper with 31 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 97-96 lead.
That turned out to be the difference. He hit two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining to cap his sensational scoring exhibition before recording an assist on Jordan Clarkson’s dunk with 4.1 seconds left.
Clarkson chipped in 12 points for the Lakers (17-65) and was the only other Los Angeles player to reach double figures.
Bryant missed his first five shots before converting on his next five attempts, including a reverse layup for a three-point play and a 3-pointer. He scored 15 of the Lakers’ 19 first-quarter points, but they trailed the Jazz by two. Roy Hibbert scored the other four for the Lakers.
In the second period, Utah outscored Los Angeles 36-23 for a 57-42 advantage at the break. Bryant led all scorers with 22 at that point, but not of his teammates managed more than four.
Bryant also made all the Lakers’ 3-pointers.
Trey Lyles had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jazz (40-42), who lost their bid for a postseason berth before tip-off when the Houston Rockets claimed a 116-81 victory over the Sacramento Kings for the No. 8 and final seed in the Western Conference.
Gordon Hayward added 17 points for Utah.
NOTES: Hall of Famer Magic Johnson spoke before a video tribute honoring Lakers F Kobe Bryant was played to the roaring crowd before the game. The video featured former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Bryant’s former teammates Shaquille O’Neal, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and current NBA players Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett. Jack Nicholson also was part of the video. … Despite all the records Bryant has accumulated, he managed to win just one NBA MVP award in 2008.