TDIKH: January 2

Jan. 2, 2009

30 years, 132 days

Thanks largely to a 40-point effort from Kobe Bryant, a rematch of the previous year’s Western Conference Semifinals went largely uncontested.

The Lakers led by 17 points after just one quarter, while Bryant shot 13-of-23 from the field and 12-of-14 at the foul line to key a 113-100 win over Utah.

Los Angeles led by as many as 20 in its fifth straight win, but the Jazz managed to cut that advantage down to four with three minutes left. From there, reserve Trevor Ariza recorded two of his five steals to seal victory.

Bryant added seven rebounds and four assists, while Pau Gasol racked up 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, surpassing the 10,000-point mark along the way.

Utah’s front court of Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap provided a fight by combining for 36 points and 30 rebounds, but the Lakers managed to keep the Jazz away with by outscoring them on free throws, 32-20.

Kobe performances on this day in history: