Dec. 3, 2000
22 years, 102 days
It was an early duel between future Hall of Famers, as Kobe Bryant barely bested Dirk Nowitzki at Staples Center.
Bryant erupted for 38 points on 15-of-28 shooting, while Nowitzki countered with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while the Lakers squeezed out a 99-97 victory.
Shaquille O’Neal provided 25 points and 14 rebounds, but was also part of the reason for Dallas’ near-comeback, as he went just 5-of-19 at the free throw line.
In fact, the Lakers led 83-71 midway through the fourth quarter when Dallas ran off 11 unanswered points. The Mavericks kept their deficit to one with 1:50 left, but L.A. never surrendered its advantage.
From there, Bryant — who poured in 12 points in the final period — scored the Lakers’ next six points to hold off the Mavs.
Dallas actually outshot the Lakers, 50.0 percent to 44.0, but L.A. enjoyed a 21-9 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Bryant did more than just score, as he also provided 10 rebounds and six assists.
Kobe performances on this day in history: