Legendary Moments in NBA History: Gilbert Arenas' 60-point game vs. Los Angeles Lakers in 2006

In the 2005-06 season, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards were two of the league’s most dynamic, explosive scorers. They proved that point time and again in a classic overtime showdown at Staples Center on Dec. 17, 2006.

The Wizards upended the Lakers, 147-141, but the story of the game was the scoring display Arenas put on all night long. He started out hot, scoring 17 points in the first half and 27 more in the second half to give him 41 points. Then came overtime, in which he scored 16 points — including 14 straight in one 5-minute stretch — to secure the win for Washington.

As for Bryant, he was no slouch in the game. He netted 45 points, an astounding feat considering he had scored 53 points in his previous game. Overall, the Lakers’ star was 15-of-24 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line. He made 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, part of the Lakers’ franchise-record 44 shots from 3-point range.

Arenas’ total broke the franchise mark for points in a game set by Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, when he dropped 56 on the Lakers in Feb. 13, 1968.

“It was bound to happen,” Arenas said after the game. “I’m a scorer, so I was going to have one of those days where I was clicking. Most of the time when I’ve scored 46 in three quarters, we were blowing the other team out, so I didn’t get to play in the fourth.

But tonight was that time. It was a close game and I stayed in. I found the rhythm, especially in the fourth quarter and in overtime, and I never looked back.”

Among the feats Arenas accomplished in the game were:

  • Arenas established a new career-high, all-time franchise record, and NBA season-high points scored by an individual player in a game.
  • Arenas became the first player to score 60 points against the Lakers since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1966, and the only player other than Chamberlain to ever score 60-plus against the Lakers
  • Arenas’ 16 points in overtime against L.A. set an NBA record for points scored in an overtime session
  • Arenas’ 60 points marked the second-most points scored in a game in Staples Center history, behind only Kobe Bryant’s 81 points vs. Toronto in 2004-05.
  • Arenas and Kobe Bryant did something only six other pairs of opponents had ever done when they scored 60-plus points and 45-plus points, respectively, in the same game.

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