LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (Ticker) --
For 18 1/2 minutes, Kobe Bryant
having an ordinary game. For the next 22 1/2 minutes, he shot
his way into history.
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Bryant scored 45 points and set NBA records with nine
consecutive 3-pointers and 12 overall as the Los Angeles Lakers
defeated the Seattle SuperSonics, 119-98, for their fourth win
in five games.
"It wasn't like the basket was so huge, but it just felt like my
rhythm was great," Bryant said. "I just felt an incredible
rhythm. And the calmness, it wasn't like I was rushing or
anything like that, it just felt really calm and just felt like
I shoot it, I am going to make it."
It was the most points scored by the Lakers this season, who are
in the midst of their best five-game stretch of the campaign.
Los Angeles led just 37-32 before Bryant hit his first 3-pointer
with 5:28 left in the second quarter. He made his next five
shots from the arc to help the Lakers to a 60-45 halftime
advantage, then drilled his first three 3-pointers in the third
quarter to break the NBA mark for consecutive 3-pointers in one
"The shots he made in the first half and most of the second half
were shots that for the most part, our guys were there," Sonics
coach Nate McMillan said. "I don't think he had any or maybe a
couple uncontested shots. But he was great four feet behind
the 3-point line. The guy found his rhythm with his shot and he
just felt it."
The record was shared by three players.
"You just look up and all of the sudden you realize that you
have six threes at the end of the second quarter, and that
really didn't sink in because you are just shooting them one at
a time. And the next thing you know, they just start coming and
piling up," Bryant said.
"The only way I could stop Kobe from scoring was taking him out
at the end of the third quarter," Lakers coach Phil Jackson
said. "That was perhaps the greatest streak shooting I think I
have ever seen in my life."
With 6:58 left in the contest, Bryant - who never had made more
than five 3-pointers in a game - nailed his 12th, giving the
Lakers a 101-84 lead and breaking the NBA record for 3-pointers
in a game, set on April 18, 1996 by Dennis Scott of the Orlando
"I've seen (Michael) Jordan
and a lot of guys do that, I've seen
Chuck Person do that," Sonics guard Gary Payton
said. "He was
just in a zone, he made shots. He kept firing it up and it kept
Bryant, who exited to a standing ovation - including some on
press row - with 4:16 left and the Lakers ahead by 21 points,
went 12-of-18 from the arc and 16-of-28 overall.
Paced by Bryant, Los Angeles made a team-record 17 3-pointers on
32 attempts (53 percent) and shot 56 percent (43-of-77)
overall. The Lakers were a combined 7-of-38 from the arc in a
weekend home-and-home series with Phoenix.
added 20 points, Derek Fisher
had 13 and Rick
10 for Los Angeles, which took the lead for good, 11-10, on
a jumper by Samaki Walker
with 6:25 left in the first quarter.
contributed 19 points, Kenny Anderson
Payton 14 and 12 assists for Seattle, which has lost six of
"We didn't have intensity and we couldn't make shots, so things
just went their way," Payton said. "(Kobe) was shooting three,
four feet from behind the three and he was making it. He was in
a rhythm. It was just one of those nights that he had."
The Sonics made only 3-of-8 3-point attempts but shot 48 percent
"The Sonics played well," Jackson said. "Without Kobe shooting,
it would have been a much different type of game."