TDIKH: November 6
Nov. 6, 2003
25 years, 75 days
Like so many times in their tenured history, the Lakers and Spurs went at it in a classic battle that concluded with L.A.’s perfect record still intact, but only after two overtime periods in San Antonio.
Kobe Bryant was a force, as he racked up a game-high 37 points (16-of-29) to lead the Lakers past the team that ended their season — and chance at four straight titles — six months earlier.
Without reigning MVP Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, the Spurs were carried by Manu Ginobili, who dueled Bryant with a then career-high 33 points (9-of-21; 11-of-13 free throws), 12 rebounds and seven assists.
But L.A. simply outgunned the defending champions, as Bryant was complemented by stellar efforts from Shaquille O’Neal (35 points, 20 rebounds, six assists), Karl Malone (15 points, 19 rebounds) and Gary Payton (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists).
O’Neal and Malone led the Lakers to a 66-47 advantage on the boards, but San Antonio managed to stay alive with 36 made free throws — 13 more than L.A.
Trailing by two entering the fourth period, Bryant — who played 49 minutes — left his mark with 10 points in the quarter.
After going back and fourth in both overtime periods, the purple and gold finally pulled away with three free throws from O’Neal and Payton to end the game, while the former swatted away Kevin Willis’ game-tying 3-point attempt.
Kobe performances on this day in history: