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TDIKH: December 22

Dec. 22, 2009

31 years, 121 days

In a duel between two of the century’s greatest scorers, Kobe Bryant put on a display that a young Kevin Durant was not ready to match.

Bryant dropped 40 points on Oklahoma City by shooting 14-of-26 from the field and 12-of-14 at the line, leading the Lakers to a 111-108 victory — their 16th in 17 games.

The Thunder led by 12 early in the game, but L.A. exploded for a 34-21 third quarter.

Though Durant (11-of-19) racked up 30 points of his own, he fouled out late in the game, leaving Russell Westbrook to attempt a game-tying 3-pointer, which was off the mark.

“The Lakers are a championship team that we were playing,” said Westbrook, who finished with 21 points and 13 assists. “So you’ve got to play perfect against them.”

In spite of playing with a sore knee, Bryant also racked up eight rebounds and six assists, while Pau Gasol added 15 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.

Kobe performances on this day in history: