Series starts 1/7
|Game 1: Tuesday, January 7th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 2: Sunday, February 23rd|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Friday, February 28th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 4: Sunday, March 30th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
(16-17, 10-10 away)
(15-20, 11-6 home)
7:30 PM ET, January 7, 2003
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant acknowledged it was the game of a lifetime.
Kobe Bryant spent Tuesday night in 3-point fantasy land, making a record 12 of 'em.
At least as an adult.
When asked if he had ever had a such a game, Bryant replied: "Maybe one time when I was 7 years old, I got 63 points. I was playing against kids who were 14, in Italy."
Bryant, who had never made more than five 3-pointers in an NBA game, broke Dennis Scott's record of 11 with 6:58 to play.
The 24-year-old Bryant shot 12-of-18 from beyond the arc and 16-of-28 overall. He made 11 3-pointers in the second and third quarters, when he scored all but seven of his points.
His nine straight 3-pointers is also an NBA single-game record.
"It's hard to describe," Bryant said of the feeling he had once he got hot. "You just feel so confident. You get your feet set and get a good look at the basket -- it's going in.
"Even the ones I missed I thought were going in."
Bryant, who played 37 minutes, said he wasn't aware the 3-point record was 11 until being told by a ballboy during the game.
The four-time All-Star said he felt good beforehand, but nothing out of the ordinary.
|Kobe tops the charts|
11 -- Dennis Scott, Orlando vs. Atlanta, April 18, 1996.
10 -- Ray Allen, Milwaukee vs. Charlotte, April 14, 2002.
10 -- George McCloud, Dallas at Phoenix, Dec. 16, 1995.
10 -- Joe Dumars, Detroit vs. Minnesota, Nov. 8, 1994.
10 -- Brian Shaw, Miami at Milwaukee, April 8, 1993.
18 -- Dallas at Atlanta, Jan. 15, 2002.
18 -- Dallas vs. New Jersey, March 5, 1996.
18 -- Dallas at Denver, Feb. 29, 1996.
17 -- L.A. Lakers vs. Seattle, Jan. 7, 2003.
17 -- Boston vs. Portland, Jan. 3, 2003.
17 -- Houston vs. Milwaukee, Dec. 22, 2001.
17 -- Boston at Atlanta, Nov. 17, 2001.
17 -- Houston vs. Toronto, March 25, 1999.
17 -- Seattle at Vancouver, April 3, 1998.
17 -- Miami vs. Philadelphia, Feb. 15, 1997.
17 -- Golden State at Minnesota, April 12, 1995.
"I never thought I would have a game like this, though," he said. "I made the first one, I said, 'Let me see if I can make two.' I made the second one, I said, 'Let me see if I can make three.' I made the third one, I said, 'I've got a rhythm going.' "
Bryant received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center when he left the game for good with 4:16 remaining and the Lakers leading 110-88.
"That was perhaps the greatest streak shooting I have ever seen in my life," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who has coached nine NBA championship teams -- six in Chicago and three with the Lakers.
Bryant didn't make his first 3-pointer until connecting with 5:28 left in the second quarter.
That opened the floodgates.
He added five more without a miss before halftime as the Lakers outscored the Sonics 23-12 for a 60-45 lead.
Bryant opened the scoring in the third quarter with a three-point play, and added three more 3-pointers to put the Lakers ahead 76-58 with 7:17 left in the period.
At that stage, he had made 10 straight shots -- all but one from 3-point range.
Bryant finally misfired from beyond the arc two minutes later, but scored off a pass from Shaquille O'Neal, who rebounded the miss.
Bryant then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie Scott's record and give the Lakers an 86-65 lead with 2½ minutes left in the third period.
Bryant had made 26-of-92 3-pointers this season entering the game and missed his first attempt before suddenly getting hot and breaking the record Scott set for Orlando against Atlanta on April 18, 1996.
He entered having made 319 of 1,025 career shots from 3-point range.
"The shots he took were shots you would want guys to take -- 3 or 4 feet behind the 3-point line with a hand in his face," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "He made five or six in a row ... nine in a row? Well, there you go.
"I don't think most guys can do that in a gym by themselves, let alone a game where you're being defended."
O'Neal added 20 points and a season-high seven assists for the Lakers (15-20), who have won four of their last five.
Devean George made two 3-pointers early in the final period to give the Lakers 16, surpassing their previous high of 15 established twice. They finished 17-of-32 from beyond the arc to equal the third-highest team 3-point total ever in the NBA.
The Lakers made only 10-of-52 shots from 3-point range in their previous three games including 2-of-21 in a 107-93 loss at Phoenix last Saturday night.
Bryant scored 37 points in that game, but missed all eight 3-pointers he tried.
Scott set his 3-point record on April 18, 1996 for the Orlando Magic against Atlanta. ... Sonics guard Brent Barry, hampered by tendinitis in his left knee, missed his second consecutive game. He started 81 games last year and the first 31 this season before sitting out the 94-82 defeat last Friday against visiting Denver, snapping the Nuggets' 10-game losing streak. ... The Lakers have won four of five games over Seattle since being swept by the Sonics 4-0 in the 2000-2001 season. ... The Sonics activated center Jerome James, sidelined since Dec. 10 because of a stress fracture in his right foot. To make room, they placed rookie forward Reggie Evans on the injured list. Evans, who has a sprained right shoulder, has started 23 games. ... Lakers forward Samaki Walker sustained a slightly hyper-extended left knee in the third quarter and didn't return.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||40-83 (.482)||43-77 (.558)|
|3PM-3PA||3-8 (.375)||17-32 (.531)|
|FTM-FTA||15-21 (.714)||16-26 (.615)|
|Fast Break Points||6||9|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||21 (1/0)|