TDIKH: February 26

Feb. 26, 2006

27 years, 187 days

Though this one didn’t end in the Lakers’ favor, it was nonetheless a classic duel between Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce.

Bryant poured in 40 points — one more than Pierce — but the Celtic hit a game-winning free throw to push his team to victory.

The game opened up in Bryant’s advantage, as he scored 26 points in the first half alone. But Pierce countered by tallying 15 in the third quarter.

Though Bryant shot 11-of-23 from the field and 15-of-17 at the foul line, while also collecting eight rebounds and six assists, the final period was unkind to him.

He scored just three points in the fourth, as the Lakers trailed by seven with 3:30 left. Though they used a 10-3 run to tie the game at 111, victory was just out of reach.

Bryant fouled Pierce in the final seconds, and the latter went 1-of-2 at the free throw line, which was all he needed, as Bryant’s buzzer-beater was off the mark.

Kobe performances on this day in history: