TDIKH: November 12

Nov. 12, 2000 22 years, 81 days

Fresh off their first championship of the 2000-02 three-peat, the Lakers had stumbled out of the gates to a 3-3 record.

But L.A. built up some momentum behind 37 points and 10 rebound from Bryant, who led the defending champs to a 105-99 victory.

The Lakers led by 10 with 4:34 left in the game before Shaquille O’Neal fouled out. The big man had a middling offensive game (14 points, five rebounds), but dominated defensively with six blocks.

The Rockets — who had seven players in double figures, including Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon (13 points) — immediately cut their deficit to four less than a minute later.

But Bryant took over from there by scoring all of the Lakers’ last six points.

Though Houston made 33 free throws — 13 more than L.A. — the Lakers enjoyed a 46-36 rebounding advantage. In 44 minutes, Bryant also collected three steals and shot 12-of-15 at the line.

Kobe performances on this day in history: