April 11, 2008
29 years, 232 days
Kobe Bryant and co. rolled out to a 30-point advantage, but the Lakers needed every bit of their superstar in order to hold on against the Western Conference-leading New Orleans Hornets.
Bryant racked up 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead Los Angeles to a 107-104 victory and its first Pacific Division title in four years.
“It’s good to be No. 1,” Bryant told the media. “This was the first step.”
The Lakers rolled out to a 19-point first-quarter advantage and just kept going, pushing their lead up to 63-33 late in the second.
But the Hornets were far from out of it, as they worked their deficit down to 75-71. But Bryant immediately responded with 10 points during L.A.’s ensuing 17-6 run.
New Orleans once again fought back, bringing the Lakers’ lead down to 96-95 with four minutes remaining, but the purple and gold scored six unanswered to seal the win.
While Bryant shot 9-of-17 with three 3-pointers, Pau Gasol (25 points, 9-of-12) and Lamar Odom (13 points, 16 rebounds) each had huge hands in the win.
Meanwhile, the Hornets shot 51.3 percent and received strong efforts from Peja Stojakovic (24 points) and Chris Paul (15 points, 17 assists), though it wasn’t enough against the eventual Western Conference champions.
Kobe performances on this day in history: