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TDIKH: December 4

Dec. 4, 2009

31 years, 103 days

One of the most iconic moments of Kobe Bryant’s career began with a mistake.

His team trailing by two with 3.2 seconds left, Bryant slipped when catching the inbounds pass and was forced to heave up a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Somehow, his shot bounced off the glass and through the hoop to hand the Lakers a 108-107 victory over Miami.

“It was the luckiest shot I’ve ever taken, by far,” Bryant told the media after the game. “It felt good, (but) I just couldn’t believe this ball might go in on this shot.”

Bryant was at his best when his team needed him most, scoring 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter alone.

Bryant shot 12-of-25 from the field and was seemingly countered at every turn by Dwyane Wade, who dropped 26 points of his own.

But Wade — who collected nine assists and eight rebounds — went just 7-of-21 on field goals (though 12-of-18 at the foul line) and was unable to force a miss despite playing solid defense on Bryant’s game-winner.

In L.A.’s eighth consecutive victory, Bryant was aided by his usual cast of cohorts during these championship years. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum scored 22 and 19 points, respectively, while Derek Fisher canned a triple of his own with 4.3 seconds remaining.

But ultimately it was Bryant’s 3-pointer that resulted in a swarm of celebrating Lakers and a frenzied, sold-out Staples Center.

Kobe performances on this day in history: