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Kobe Bryant with the vicious dunk over Chris Paul (VIDEO)

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Kobe Bryant may have won the battle early, but Chris Paul was the one who won the war.

Bryant finished with an impressive 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting on Friday, none more eye-popping than this steal and powerful breakaway slam dunk over Paul that had Staples Center buzzing in the game’s opening minutes.

In a game filled with highlights, this was the one that stood out on the Lakers side. Although if you asked Bryant about it afterward, he’d likely have said he would have preferred to have a more pedestrian step-back jumper that would have sealed his team’s victory -- like the one Paul knocked down with 19 seconds remaining that helped the Clippers hold on.

A shot which, by the way, was converted over Bryant.