TDIKH: April 5

April 5, 1999

20 years, 225 days

With an old teammate putting on a show for the other team, Kobe Bryant and co. did all they could to withstand Nick Van Exel’s career-high 41 points.

While the former Laker dazzled by shooting 14-of-26 with eight rebounds and nine assists, Los Angeles withstood the onslaught for a 117-104 win over Denver.

Bryant led the way, matching Glen Rice’s team-high 26 points. However, Bryant’s efficiency was higher than any other’s on the floor that night, shooting 8-of-12 while hitting all four of his shots from 3-point range.

“He played a really efficient basketball game tonight,” head coach Kurt Rambis told reporters. “No turnovers — I absolutely loved that.”

Danny Fortson added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets. He and Van Exel hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Lakers’ lead to 100-96 with about five minutes left, but L.A. knocked down three straight shots to push its advantage back to double figures.

In addition to Bryant and Rice, the Lakers’ big men also got the job done, as Shaquille O’Neal scored 20 points, while Dennis Rodman piled up 17 rebounds.

In fact, the entire team was clicking offensively. L.A. shot 50.6 percent from the field while handing out 33 assists.

Kobe performances on this day in history: