TDIKH: March 16

March 16, 2007

28 years, 205 days

Since dropping 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006, the only person who has come close to reaching Kobe Bryant’s historic night has been Bryant himself.

The reigning scoring champ unleashed a 65-point effort on the
Portland Trail Blazers to will the Lakers to a 116-111 victory.

Bryant shot 23-of-39 from the field, including 8-of-12 on 3-pointers. He also hit 11-of-12 free throws to notch the fourth-highest scoring effort in franchise history.

He also found time to collect seven rebounds, three assists and three steals while snapping Los Angeles’ seven-game losing streak.

“My daughter is outside waiting for me, and I’m sure she doesn’t give a damn about what just happened,” Bryant told reporters. “She just wants to watch Care Bears. I’m just happy we won. We needed this one.”

No other Laker scored more than 15 points, though Portland couldn’t take advantage of a 31-point outburst from Zach Randolph.

The lakers fell behind by eight points after the first quarter, but Bryant ignited for 19 in the second frame alone to give L.A. a 46-43 halftime lead.

However, he was even more unbelievable in the final period, scoring 24 of the Lakers’ 30 points, including all of their final 15. The explosion was capped by an overtime-forcing 3-pointer with 17.2 seconds left.

But that wasn’t even Bryant’s best triple of the night. With the game tied, he nailed another trey with 44.1 seconds remaining in overtime to put the Lakers up for good.

“That finish was incredible,” head coach Phil Jackson said. “They couldn’t keep the ball out of Kobe’s hands, and they couldn’t keep him from putting that ball in the hoop.”

Kobe performances on this day in history: