The NBA witnessed one of the most historic ends to the a regular season. ESPN featured three games on the night of April 13, 2016: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzles at Golden State Warriors, and Utah Jazz at Los Angles Lakers.
The Boston Celtics found themselves down 26 points to the Miami Heat as they fought for playoff positioning.
Led by the Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics were able to mount a comeback in the third quarter of the ball game as they outscored the Heat 25-5. Fighting for playoff position, the Celtics finish the comeback to beat the Heat 98-88.The comeback was one of the largest comebacks of the season and Celtics’s history. The Celtics were able to complete the comeback in front of the Boston Celtics champions of 1966, 1976, and 1986. Even with the win the Celtics did not secure home-court advantage as they travel the Atlanta to face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Golden State Warriors were chasing the 1995-96 Chicago Bull’s 72-10 regular season record that many people believed would never be broken. To end the regular season, the Warriors broke the Bull’s record after defeating the Memphis Grizzles in front of their home crowd. Reigning MVP Stephen Curry scored 46 points and made a record 402 three point shots.
Curry has complete another campaign that should land him the MVP honors once again. The Warriors will face the eight-seeded Houston Rockets. After the game Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who was was apart of that 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team, stated after the game,
“I never thought anybody would ever come close to breaking the record when I was lucky enough to be a part of it. I’m shocked we are where we are just because of how difficult it is. More than anything, I’m proud of our guys for laying it all out there, all season long, for putting themselves out there and trying to achieve something that has never been done before. … Something that is truly great.”
Although the Warriors broke the once believed unbreakable Bull’s record, it was Kobe Bryant who stole the night. Bryant played his last game in the NBA for the fans at the Staples Center. After a 20-year career with the same team, Los Angles Lakers, Bryant could not ask for a better ending. In front of his team, his former teammates, his family, and the fans Kobe Bryant had the best career ending game. After starting 0-5 from the field, Bryant made a block on the defensive end leading to his first bucket of the game. That bucket was followed by 58 more points for a total of 60 points. It was a vintage Kobe Bryant performance and a fitting way for the Laker great to go out on top. Not only did Bryant score 60 points, the Lakers got the win in a what has been a struggling season. Bryant spoke after the game in the Staples Center and said,
“You know, what’s funny, the thing that had me cracking up all night long that the fact that I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball and on the last night, they’re like, ‘Don’t pass it.'”
Below are highlights of Kobe Bryant’s 60 points in his finale game in the NBA.