LeBron James sent out an emotional tribute to Bryant before tip-off. "Best of luck with your new journey after you leave this beautiful game behind," James wrote on Bleacher Report's Uninterrupted. "I'll do my part to grow it, to make it as great as you made it and leave it for
the next group that comes behind me and the rest of the guys."
Kobe Bryant scored 26 points compared to Lebon's 24 as the retiring Kobe still showed he was the better player despite his imminent retirement.