April 13, 2004
25 years, 234 days
Coming off his worst performance of the season, Kobe Bryant made sure to prove himself by providing his best one.
Fresh off an eight-point, 3-of-13 display against Sacramento, Bryant dropped a season-high 45 points to lead the Lakers’ 109-104 win over Golden State.
Bryant was hot from the start, scoring 14 points in the first quarter alone.
“He came out aggressive and shot the ball,” Shaquille O’Neal told the media. “He was Kobe.”
Still, individual scoring did not immediately translate into team success, as the Lakers trailed at halftime, 59-49, and the gap widened to 16 in the third quarter.
However, the Lakers finally turned it around in the last period, powered by 16 points from Bryant.
He hit a layup halfway through the quarter to take a 91-90 game, but Golden State answered right back. Still, Derek Fisher responded with a 3-pointer for an edge that Los Angeles would never surrender.
Bryant iced the game by scoring L.A.’s final seven points, all within the final 20 seconds.
In addition to shooting 14-of-29 from the field and 17-of-18 on free throws, Bryant tallied seven rebounds, eight assists and pairs of steals and blocks.
Meanwhile, Shaquille O’Neal pitched in 23 points and 13 rebounds to help the Lakers shoot 53.2 percent.
Kobe performances on this day in history: