TDIKH: November 4
Nov. 4, 2009
31 years, 73 days
Against a team that took them to seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals the year before, Kobe Bryant was the engine behind the defending-champion Lakers’ overtime victory over Houston.
Bryant erupted for 41 points — including 16 in the fourth quarter and overtime — while going 15-of-30 from the field and collecting six rebounds and four assists. He also had four steals to key L.A.’s 19-9 turnover advantage.
Without Pau Gasol (hamstring strain) the Lakers needed every bit of Bryant’s 48 minutes to topple the Rockets, who had six players with at least 14 points. But it was a group of his teammates who stole the spotlight late in the game.
Metta World Peace — then known as Ron Artest — hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in overtime to break a tie against the team he left over the offseason. But former Laker Trevor Ariza, who had essentially swamped teams with Artest that summer, responded with an overtime-forcing triple of his own 16 seconds later.
A back-and-forth extra frame found itself tied with 24 seconds left before Andrew Bynum went 1-of-2 on free throws to cap his 17-point, 17-rebound effort.
Ariza had the ball with a chance to win as the clock ran down when an unlikely hero stepped up. Derek Fisher finished the night without a single point, rebound or assists in 35 minutes, but he stripped Ariza as time expired for the victory.
Kobe performances on this day in history: