On this day in history, March 16th of 2007, Kobe Bryant celebrated the 34th anniversary of Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s only 50 point game by scoring 65 points (24 in the 4th) in an OT victory over the Portland Trailblazers.
“My daughter is outside waiting for me, and I’m sure she doesn’t give a damn about what just happened. She just wants to watch Care Bears,” Bryant said with a grin. “I’m just happy we won. We needed to get this one. We just had to win this game and get back on track, just for a moral standpoint. We’re at a point now where everybody’s a little beat up.”
The win snapped a 7-game losing streak by the Lakers and gave Kobe the 2nd highest scoring game of his career. It was also his 3rd game with 60+ points and 4th game of that season with 50+.
“I had to come out aggressive and assert myself, just because our confidence was a little shaky,” Bryant said. “We needed a breakout game. And it’s my job as a leader to kind of read what we need as a team. And sometimes, me taking over games like this instills confidence in us all.”
“Kobe just made MVP-type plays,” Roy said. “He made every shot down the stretch. We were trying to do things to stop him. It was a great game to play in. But we need to figure out a way to stop great players down the stretch.”
KOBE BRYANT: 65pts, 7rebs, 3asts, 3stls, 23-39fg, 8-12 3pt, 11-12ft
OTHER 4 STARTERS (SMUSH, SASHA, LAMAR, KWAME): 31 points, 15-34fg