Nov. 29, 2002
24 years, 98 days
In a duel between future champion teammates, Kobe Bryant gave Pau Gasol a preview of the scoring tandem the two would become in the future.
Bryant scored 45 points to push past Gasol (24 points) for an overtime victory.
Shaquille O’Neal added 33 points and 13 rebounds to help the Lakers stave of an upset from the 2-13 Grizzlies.
Bryant was especially lethal early and late, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, 12 in the fourth and eight in overtime. he finished the night 18-of-35 with six rebounds and five assists.
The Lakers led by five with a minute left before Jason Williams knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers.
But Bryant, who played 48 minutes, helped L.A. out to a 8-2 run to start the extra period, and Memphis never came closer than five points.
“We just used our experience really and just cut them up,” Bryant told reporters after the game. “We didn’t want to lose this one.”
Kobe performances on this day in history: