Nov. 27, 2001
23 years, 96 days
After a clash between the NBA’s best teams, it was clear that the defending-champion Lakers were still the league’s top dogs.
The 11-1 Lakers trailed by 15 to the 9-1 Bucks, but battled back for a 15-point victory, 104-89.
Led by Kobe Bryant’s 23 second-half points, the Lakers stomped on Milwaukee late, particularly with a 30-14 fourth quarter.
Bryant finished with 33 points, hitting 11-of-23 from the field, plus 8-of-10 at the foul line. Shaquille O’Neal added 19 points and nine rebounds to combat 23 points from Sam Cassell.
But it was a clear team effort from a Lakers unit that improved to a franchise-best 13 wins through 14 games. L.A. outrebounded its visitors 57-36, while hauling in 24 offensive boards, and swatted a dozen shots to Milwaukee’s single block.
“It says we’re NBA champs,” Bryant told the media after the game. “Even when we’re down by 15, we have confidence in ourselves that we can come back. We’re going to keep fighting.”
The Bucks (43.2 percent) outshot L.A. by 2.1 percent, but the Lakers were simply more efficient, enjoying substantial advantages in made free throws (20-10) and 3-pointers (10-5).
Kobe performances on this day in history: