In fact, he was trying to "destroy" the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
"I remember when Michael Jordan was on his way out and Kobe didn't take it easy on him," Durant said after dropping 34 points in a 112-79 Oklahoma City Thunder victory that saw Russell Westbrook record the second-fastest triple-double in NBA history.
"That's all I was thinking. I was trying to destroy him every chance I got. Every time I got the ball, he was 'Come on. Let's see what you got.' That shows what type of player, what type of competitor he is. I just wanted to play against him one last time."
Before the game, Durant recalled a lesson on work ethic he learned from Bryant while the two were working out with Team USA.
Kevin Durant told a cool Kobe story in advance of his final game in OKC tonight: pic.twitter.com/hEnASTdEbb
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 11, 2016
I know, right? Jeff Green was asked to work out with the Olympic team?
Durant's clearly taken that story to heart, achieving a less-heralded feat for the first time since another player noted for his hard work.
Kevin Durant has now scored at least 20 in 64 straight games, the most consecutive games to do that since Michael Jordan in 1990-91.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 12, 2016
The 27-year-old is averaging 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5 assists this season. He needed only 27 minutes to score his 34 on Monday, sitting out the fourth quarter.