TDIKH: December 8
Dec. 8, 2002
24 years, 107 days
Kobe Bryant ended a big night for the Lakers by hammering a dunk with four seconds left to put an exclamation point on a 110-101 win over Utah.
Bryant had suffered a pulled groin just two days before, but he nonetheless racked up 26 points, 14 assists and five steals to key L.A.’s victory.
“Tonight was a game I was really worried about (my groin),” Bryant told the media after the game. “It seemed I was able to play pretty well. My range of motion was pretty good.”
Shaquille O’Neal scored half of his 32 points in the first quarter alone, helping L.A. outscore the Jazz in the opening frame by 13.
The Big Fella snagged 11 rebounds to help fend off a 30-point effort off the bench from Andrei Kirilenko, who went 8-of-12 and was perfect on each of his 10 free throw and four 3-point attempts.
Bryant (9-of-18) and O’Neal (13-of-19) led the Lakers, who shot 50.6 percent on the night, while limiting the Hall of Fame tandem of John Stockton and Karl Malone to 24 combined points on a 7-of-26 clip.
Kobe performances on this day in history: