TDIKH: January 31

Jan. 31, 2006

27 years, 161 days

At the World’s Most Famous Arena, the NBA’s top scorer earned the greatest ovation a visitor could receive at Madison Square Garden: “MVP!” chants.

Kobe Bryant ignited for 16 of his 40 points in the first quarter alone to power the Lakers’ 130-97 victory over New York.

Bryant hit only one shot from the field in the second half, but he punished the Knicks at the free throw line. He finished the night by tying his career-high at the foul line (23-of-26).

As a team, the Lakers outscored the Knicks in just about every way, going 39-of-68 (57.4 percent) and hitting three more shots on 18 fewer attempts than their hosts.

Los Angeles also had a 43-20 advantage in made free throws. Led by Bryant — who shot 7-of-17 and had four steals — L.A. outscored New York by at least seven points in each quarter.

Kobe performances on this day in history: