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This Day in History (2002): Kobe Bryant Scores 56 points in 34 Minutes Against the Grizzlies

Published on January 14th, 2015 by Astramskas, David | 4,402 views

On this day in history, January 14th of 2002, Pau Gasol probably thought one day he would like to play with Kobe Bryant.

Gasol had an impressive team-high of 25 points and 12 rebounds in 44 minutes, but his future teammate, Kobe Bryant, poured in a ridiculous 56 points in just 34 minutes. The only reason Kobe didn’t play any additional minutes is because the Lakers were winning 98-59 at the end of the 3rd quarter. It’s pretty insane to think Kobe Bryant almost outscored the opposing team by himself after three quarters; more insane is he actually ended up doing it against the Mavs in 2005, by outscoring them 62-61 after three.

The 56 was a new career-high for Kobe, who made 21 of 34 shots and 11 of 12 free throws.

“For some reason, I felt really good,” Bryant said. “I felt like I was in a groove. I didn’t get the feeling of the basket being big, I had a lot of bounce. The legs felt extremely good.”

One of the most amusing things about the game was how good Kobe was feeling about suspended teammate Shaq:  Kobe wrote the #34 on his shoes when he heard about Shaq being suspended and after the game when he was asked if he had a message for Shaq, he said “I love you, man!”

That love didn’t last much longer but thankfully for Kobe, Pau Gasol was there to try to fill the void.

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If you want to know why Shaq was suspended, check out this missed punch on Brad Miller.  Thankfully he didn’t land the punch because we might have had another Kermit Washington/Rudy T story.

Since we are talking about big games and Lakers’ bigs of the past, if you flashback 64 year ago today, George Mikan scored 51 of the Lakers 77 points in a loss to the Royals.

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