The veteran superstar, though, still has plenty of work to do.
Looking to continue their quest for a postseason spot, Bryant and the surging Lakers go for a 10th consecutive home win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
One night after scoring 23 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter of a 104-96 victory win New Orleans, Bryant went off for a season-high 47 in Wednesday's 113-106 victory at Portland.
"What he is doing is phenomenal. He's determined to get us in the playoffs," said coach Mike D'Antoni, whose team has won five of six. "That's what happens when you open your mouth and guarantee that we'll get in the playoffs."
The eighth-place Lakers (42-37) are now one game ahead of Utah for the Western Conference's final postseason berth with three to go. Los Angeles, though, needs to finish ahead of the Jazz, who own the tiebreaker.
"We've got no breathing room at all," Bryant said. "I'm still on edge. We've got to win three more games and we're in."
The Lakers control their own destiny, but their road to the postseason could be tough.
After this game, Los Angeles concludes its schedule against San Antonio and Houston. Utah, meanwhile, plays Northwest Division-worst Minnesota twice before visiting Memphis.
The Lakers, though, have to like their chances of taking care of business versus Golden State (45-34). They have won 34 of 37 in the series at home, including the last nine by an average of 14.7 points. Los Angeles cruised to an easy 101-77 victory during the Warriors' last visit Nov. 9.
The Lakers had gone 18-1 in the series overall before coming up short 109-103 at Golden State on March 25. Bryant had 36 points but shot just 11 of 27. He's averaging 33.8 in his last eight matchups against the Warriors.
After clinching its first playoff berth since 2007 with Tuesday's 105-89 win over Minnesota, Golden State couldn't keep up Thursday in a 116-97 loss to Oklahoma City. Stephen Curry had 22 points but the Warriors allowed the Thunder to shoot 50.6 percent.
"That was a team that's chasing the No. 1 seed and was trying to send a message, 'Just in case I see you at some point down the road,'" coach Mark Jackson said.
Sitting just one-half game ahead of Houston for the No. 6 seed, Golden State is expected to be without Andrew Bogut, who sprained his surgically repaired left ankle Thursday. He's missed 48 of 79 games, mostly due to lingering ankle woes.
The former No. 1 overall pick is averaging a career-low 5.9 points, but he's second on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game.
With Bogut sidelined, the Warriors could have an even harder time trying to contain Pau Gasol, who's finally starting to round into form after missing 33 games over the course of the season. The four-time All-Star, averaging 6.7 assists during the team's 5-1 run, has scored a combined 45 points in the last two contests on 20-of-30 from the field.
"I'm still not 100 percent, and I won't be," said Gasol, who's shooting 58.3 percent over the last eight games. "I'm managing it well. I'm getting good rhythm, I'm making good decisions, and my focus is really good right now. We're just doing whatever it takes to win."
Entering Friday, Kobe Bryant has recorded at least 20 points in 29 consecutive regular-season games against the Warriors, his longest such streak against a single opponent in his NBA career.
In fact, Bryant's 20-point streak against the Warriors is the second-longest active streak by a player against a single opponent in the regular season. LeBron James has scored at least 20 in 30 consecutive games against the Celtics.
With the Lakers fighting for their playoff lives, Kobe Bryant has taken things into his own hands during the last two Laker wins: "We've got no breathing room at all," he said after their win on Wednesday. "I'm still on edge. We've got to win three more games and we're in." In the last two Laker wins Kobe Bryant has averaged 38.5 points, scoring in a variety of ways.
Kobe Bryant PPG by Play Type - Last 2 Games vs This Season
Last 2 Games
Pick & Roll Ball Handler
In their last win against the Warriors on Dec. 22, the Lakers attempted a season-high 52 field goals inside 10 feet. In that game the Lakers trailed by 8 at halftime and pounded it inside after the break, shooting 15-of-28 inside 10 feet in the second half and overtime (they were 10-of-24 from that distance in the first half).