By Dave McMenamin
SCOREBOARD: Jan. 22, 2006 | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE
PLAY OF THE DAY
Kobe breaks a slew of scoring records:
Video: NBA TV Top 10

Where were you when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points on Sunday night?
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA Photo Exhibit: Jan. 22, 2006

SHOOTING STUDS
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
122-104 win vs. Raptors
81 pts, 28-46 FG,
7-13 3-pt FG, 18-20 FT

Tracy McGrady, Rockets
99-97 loss at Pistons
43 pts, 17-33 FG

Ray Allen, Sonics
152-149 2-OT win at Suns
42 pts, 14-28 FG, 8-16 3-pt FG, 6-7 FT

SHOOTING DUDS
Michael Finley, Spurs
89-85 loss vs. Nuggets
3-10 FG, 0-4 3-pt FG, 7 pts

Rasheed Wallace, Pistons
99-97 win vs. Rockets
5-16 FG, 1-6 3-pt FG, 11 pts

James Posey, Heat
119-99 win vs. Kings
2-9 FG, 1-6 3-pt FG, 6 pts

STAT SHEET STUFFER
Kobe Bryant wasn't the only player to have a great game in the STAPLES CENTER on Sunday. Playing in an afternoon matinee game, Chris Kaman brought his prime-time stuff as he started off the game 4-of-5 from the field in the first quarter, sparking the Clippers to a season-high 63 first-half points en route to a 105-92 win over the Warriors. Kaman finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

RICK KAMLA'S FANTASY TAKE
How about Raja Bell? A career-high 31 points on Sunday thanks to seven threes against the Sonics. Raja now has 88 threes, fourth most in the league.

D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
Who was responsible for the Fayetteville Patriots scoring a season high in points in their 136-122 victory over the Dazzle? Look no further than Cliff Hawkins. The Patriot guard got everyone involved, dishing out 11 assists. Hawkins also swiped four steals and scored 14 points of his own.
GAME OF THE NIGHT
The Suns were primed to enter their third triple-overtime game of the season on Sunday but someone forgot to tell Ray Allen. Allen unleashed a 3-pointer well beyond the arc that tickled the twine as time expired in double-OT to send the Sonics home with a 152-149 road victory. It was the first time since 1995 that two NBA teams combined to score over 300 points and the 32 combined 3-pointers made were the most in NBA history. The game featured several fantastic finishes starting in the fourth quarter when Allen hit a three with 4.4 seconds left to put Seattle up two, 126-124, after shaking Steve Nash with a crossover move. Nash came right back with a lefty-layup on Allen with 1.6 ticks left to tie it up. Then in the extra session, Robert Swift made a baseline jumper with 50 ticks left to give Seattle the lead before Shawn Marion came up big with a jump shot with 38 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 138 and set the stage for Allen at the end.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"That was something to behold. It was another level. I've seen some remarkable games, but I've never seen one like that before."

-- Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson on Kobe Bryant's scoring bonanza in the Lakers' 122-104 home win. Mind you, the man coached a certain guy named Michael Jordan for eight seasons.

STORYLINES OF THE NIGHT
1. Kobe Scores 81 Points
It was one of those nights you'll tell your kids about. Kobe Bryant scored 81 points. Yes, you read that right, eighty-one. The Lakers' superstar scored 26 points in the first half followed by 27 in the third quarter and 28 in the fourth. Bryant single-handedly outscored the Raptors 55-41 in the second half as the Lakers won 122-104 at home. Kobe obliterated his career high of 62 he set earlier this season by shooting 28-of-46 from the field, including 7-of-13 on 3-pointers. He also went 18-for-20 from the foul line.
Historical Perspective: The 81-point outburst ranks him second all-time in single-game points only to Wilt Chamberlain who scored 100 points on March 2, 1962. He broke the Lakers' single-game mark of 71 set by Elgin Baylor in 1960 and leap-frogged the previous second-best output, 78, also owned by Wilt the Stilt from 1961. His 55 second-half points were four short of Chamberlain's mark for points in a half as well.
Bryant Reflects:
  • Wildest dreams: "I couldn't even dream of this when I was a kid, Not even in my dreams. It's tough to explain, it just happened man."
  • Magic Johnson called: "Talking to Magic after the game meant more to me than the 81 points.... Him calling me after the game meant more than the points."
  • How do you feel? "Feel pretty good. Hasn't really sank in yet. We had four days off coming up and I would have been sick as a dog if we lost. It turned into something very special."
    Laker Comeback: The Lakers needed every one of those points too as they trailed Toronto by 13 at the half and as many as 18 early in the third quarter before Bryant really went off. Bryant opened up the second half with 12 straight points for the Lakers and by the end of the period, Los Angeles turned the deficit completely around to a seven-point advantage. In the fourth, Kobe managed to out-do himself as he scored 28 of the Lakers' 31 points while the Raptors mustered just 19 as a team.
    Where's the Defense? "He played great tonight," said Raptors guard Morris Peterson, who guarded Bryant most of the game and picked up five fouls in doing so. "I never seen anything like that. Take nothing away from that performance tonight. He showed why he's one of the premier players of this league. Once a guy like him gets going, gets into a rhythm, it's going to be a long night. It was a long night for us tonight. You really can't say much."
    Watch it: See all 28 Bryant baskets

    2. The Other A.I.
    The 76ers received a late lift from the other A.I. on Sunday. Andre Iguodala rebounded a Chris Webber missed layup and, with less than a second remaining, had no other option but to toss it up towards the basket. You wouldn't be reading about his game if his flip-shot didn't fall, now would you? Igoudala's improbable buzzer beater capped a frantic Philadelphia comeback, giving the Sixers a 86-84 road win over Minnesota. The Sixers trailed by 19 late in the third quarter before Philly stormed back, outscoring the Timberwolves 31-17 in the final frame. Allen Iverson, the most recognizable A.I. outside of Steven Speilberg films, scored 12 of his 39 in the fourth and Iggy had a solid game other than his game-winner, with 14 points and eight rebounds.

    3. Vintage Diesel
    Shaquille O'Neal still has some gas left in the tank and he showed it in Sunday's 119-99 victory over the Kings. O'Neal scored 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting and even made more than half of his free throws as he went 5-of-8. Shaq also had six rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal playing in just 28 minutes due to foul trouble. "The demise of Shaquille O'Neal has been greatly exaggerated," said Heat coach Pat Riley, "I can guarantee you that - and I coach him."

  • ROOKIE WATCH
    Known as the "Headband Helicopter" at Syracuse University, Memphis rookie Hakim Warrick was popular for his high-flying antics. On Sunday, his points were more gravity-challenged but just as effective. Warrick scored eight of his nine points in the fourth quarter on two short jumpers, a layup and two free throws to help lift the Grizz to a road victory, 93-82 in Washington.

    UPSET OF THE NIGHT
    The San Antonio Spurs are not accustomed to losing at home. They are not used to playing without Manu Ginobili either. With Manu out with an ankle injury, the Denver Nuggets, who had lost to the Spurs twice already this season and in five games in the opening round of last year's playoffs, held the Spurs to 4-of-23 from 3-point land to key a 89-85 road win. The loss was only the third home defeat for San Antonio this season and gave Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets their fifth straight win.

    SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
    Standing at just 5-feet, 5-inches, Earl Boykins is used to being overlooked. So on a night where Kobe Bryant scores 81 points it's easy to forget about 19 by little Earl. The guard came off the bench to score 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go with three assists in an impact-heavy 24 minutes in Denver's 89-85 win in San Antonio.