TDIKH: October 30

Oct. 30, 2001 23 years, 68 days

Kobe Bryant celebrated his second career Ring Night by collecting some jewelry and then leading the Lakers past the team they had swept in the previous year’s opening round of the playoffs, with a 98-87 season-opening win over Portland.

The defending-champion Lakers exhibited the same dominance they had in their 15-1 playoff run the year before. Specifically, Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal went to work by punishing the Trail Blazers with matching 29-point nights.

Portland managed to cut L.A.’s lead down to two toward the end of the third quarter before Robert Horry hit a 3-pointer. Bryant took over from there by scoring the Lakers’ final eight points of the period to push the lead back put to 79-68.

Bryant and O’Neal efficiently used more than half of L.A.’s 79 shots, as the guard went 11-of-24 and the center shot 10-of-23. Bryant also collected seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while O’Neal had one of his classic monster statlines with 18 rebounds, five assists and five blocks.

Kobe performances on this day in history: