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TDIKH: January 21

Jan. 21, 1998

19 years, 151 days

At the time, few could have guessed how the two kids coming off the bench were going to shape the league over the next few decades.

But Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash gave the NBA a preview, as the former sparked the Lakers’ 119-109 victory over the latter’s Phoenix Suns.

Bryant poured in 25 points by knocking down shots of all varieties — going 7-of-12 from the field, 3-of-4 on 3-pointers and 8-of-10 at the foul line. All the while, Nash checked in and countered with 21 points of his own.

Los Angeles’ trip to the desert began with a dry first quarter, as they fell behind by 10. But the visitors stomped on Phoenix in the second half, in which they outscored the Suns, 72-50.

Shaquille O’Neal (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Eddie Jones (21 points) provided offense among the starters. They and Bryant were key in L.A.’s 32-14 advantage on free throws, as the Lakers won for the fourth straight time.

Kobe performances on this day in history: