Vanessa Bryant Shares Throwback of ​​Late Husband Kobe's Historic 81-Point Lakers Game

Vanessa Bryant shared a photo kissing her late husband following his historic game in 2006

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Natalia Bryant
Photo: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty

Vanessa Bryant is celebrating the NBA accomplishments of her late husband, Kobe Bryant.

On Saturday, Vanessa, 39, shared a photo from Kobe's historic 81-point game with the Los Angeles Lakers. In the sweet throwback, Kobe gave his wife a kiss while carrying their eldest daughter Natalia.

"81. ❤️❤️" Vanessa simply captioned the post before Natalia commented with several heart emojis.

Kobe beat his own personal record on Jan. 22, 2006 when he scored 81 points — the second-most ever by a player in a single game — during a Lakers' matchup against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center.

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Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant in March 2007. Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Though he was on the court for just under 42 minutes, the athlete accounted for 66 percent of the Lakers' 122 points and added six rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block during the legendary game.

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"You're sitting and watching, and it's like a miracle unfolding in front of your eyes and you can't accept it," then-team owner Jerry Buss said of the performance.

On Jan. 26 2020, Vanessa lost both her husband and her teenage daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli and pilot Ara Zobayan. Kobe was 41 and Gianna was 13 at the time of their deaths.

Vanessa opened up about life after loss in an interview with PEOPLE in March 2021, admitting at the time, "I can't say that I'm strong every day. I can't say that there aren't days when I feel like I can't survive to the next."

Gianna Bryant; Kobe Bryant; Vanessa Bryant
Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Vanessa Bryant Instagram

She explained that she's motivated by her daughters, who inspire her to keep going — Natalia, 18, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 2, all of whom she shared with Kobe.

"This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward," she said. "Lying in bed crying isn't going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that's what I do."

Last month, Vanessa shared a video of Kobe's heartfelt speech at his retirement ceremony — during which the Lakers franchise retired his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys — where the NBA legend called his wife an "inspiration" throughout his career before discussing fatherhood to his daughters.

In May, Vanessa also celebrated what would have been Gianna's 15th birthday. She shared an old photo of herself and her late daughter on Instagram, writing in the caption, "Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! ❤️😘I love you!"

"I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us," she added. "There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!"

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