The best part of Bryant's night happened before the game, when the 35-year-old was introduced to "The Imperial March":
Amir Johnson led the Raptors with 32 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 14-of-17 from the field. DeMar DeRozan added 26 points and Kyle Lowry had 23 in Toronto's first game following the trade of Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings.
Oklahoma City Thunder 114, Indiana Pacers 98
The dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had their way with the league-best Pacers, combining for 62 points in a blowout victory. Durant led the way with 36 points and 10 assists, while Westbrook also notched a double-double.
The Thunder blitzed the Pacers from the start, running out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter and never looking back. Oklahoma City shot 61 percent for the game, a remarkable number considering the quality of Indiana's stingy defense.
Paul George did have 32 points for the Pacers, who were playing on the second of a back-to-back after a dominant victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. George also did this:
Boston Celtics 114, New York Knicks 73
So much for the Knicks being cured. Following two straight impressive victories, New York laid an epic egg in a matinee at Madison Square Garden. Boos rained down on the home team, who trailed by a whopping 23 points after a brutal first quarter.
If you want to know just how bad things were for the Knicks, this tweet just about sums it up:
Celtics starters outscored the #Knicks starters, 89-29 on Sunday. Wow.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 8, 2013
All five Celtics starters scored in double figures, with Jordan Crawford's 23 points leading the way. Crawford had a little message for Grantland's Bill Simmons after the game:
@BillSimmons you mad? Lol— Jordan Crawford (@jcraw55) December 8, 2013
Boston has a 1½-game lead in the woeful Atlantic Division.
Miami Heat 110, Detroit Pistons 95
LeBron James had 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Heat cruised to a second straight victory. Ray Allen added 18 points in place of Dwyane Wade, who sat out the second night of a back-to-back for rest purposes.
Miami shot 55.6 percent overall and made 11 three-pointers. The Heat used a big third quarter to take command of the game, outscoring the Pistons 32-17 in the frame.
Andre Drummond and Brandon Jennings had 19 points apiece for Detroit.
Houston Rockets 98, Orlando Magic 88
Dwight Howard dominated his old team, scoring 20 points and grabbing 22 rebounds as the Rockets cruised to an easy victory. James Harden nearly notched a triple-double, putting up 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Houston dominated the boards in the win, grabbing 60 rebounds to just 43 for Orlando. The Rockets led nearly the entire game after falling behind by seven in the early going.
Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and six rebounds. Orlando has lost five games in a row.