Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 2/18/12

Kobe Bryant claims to not like the Phoenix Suns because they used to beat his Los Angeles Lakers all the time and they liked to let Bryant and his teammates hear about it. Apparently the Black Mamba has focused that anger, because he’s been letting the Suns have it on a regular basis for years now.

Friday night was no different as he went all “Kobe Bryant” on Steve Nash and company, dropping 36 points in a 111-99 Lakers win. Bryant also added nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block.

He  did it from all over the floor, driving to the hoop, pulling up for short jumpers, hitting his patented baseline fadeaways and nailing a 3-pointer in the midst of a third quarter run. He finished hitting 14-of-25 shots from the field, and 7-of-9 from the free throw line.

In that third quarter, Bryant dropped 18 points as the Lakers ran away from the struggling Suns. Phoenix made a late run but Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum stepped up, and a few key Derek Fisher jumpers sealed things up for Los Angeles.

But the story on the night was Bryant’s continued dominance over the Suns was the story of the night. He has 11 40-point performances against Phoenix during his career – his most against any opponent – and he just missed notching number 12.

Earlier in the season Bryant dropped 48 on the Suns in what might have been the most impressive performance of the year.

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