NBA

Kobe Bryant Began a Historic Scoring Streak On This Day in 2007

There isn’t much that Kobe Bryant didn’t achieve in his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five NBA titles, an MVP award, was an All-NBA selection 15 times, an All-Defensive selection 12 times, an 18-time All-Star, a four-time All-Star MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a two-time scoring champ, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and once dropped 81 points in a single game.

Just over a year after the 81-point outburst against the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant went on another scoring rampage with one of the greatest weeks in NBA history. Beginning on March 16, 2007, Kobe went four straight games scoring 50 or more points, the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to ever accomplish such a feat. Here’s a look back at the incredible week.

3/16/07: Kobe Bryant drops 65 on the Blazers

March 16, 2007, was the third of six 60-plus games for Kobe Bryant, good for second on the all-time list, behind only Chamberlain, who had an astounding 32.

Kobe was in assassin mode against the Portland Trailblazers that night and he needed to be. The game was close throughout but the Lakers would pull out a 116-111 overtime win at Staples Center. If you know anything about Kobe Bryant, you know that he didn’t like losing and the Lakers had lost seven straight coming into this game.

Bryant went 23-for-39 (59.0%) from the floor, including 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the three-point line, two of triples coming in clutch moments near the end of regulation. He scored 24 points in the fourth quarter and added nine in overtime. Kobe also added seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the victory.

3/18/07: Bryant gets 50 on the nose in a win against the Timberwolves

Two nights later, on March 18, 2007, Kobe Bryant continued the streak as he went for 50 on the nose in a 109-102 home win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This was the only game in the streak in which Kobe didn’t shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, settling for 48.6 with a 17-for-35 effort. He made four of nine shots from beyond the arc in the win and became the first Lakers player since Elgin Baylor in 1962 with consecutive 50-point games.

This was also just the third time in a decade that a player had scored 50 or more in consecutive games. Antawn Jamison had done so for the Golden State Warriors in 2000 (he and Kobe both scored 51 on December 6, 2000), and Allen Iverson pulled off the feat in 2004.

3/22/07-Kobe Bryant hits 60 for the second time in three games

Apparently not satisfied with just getting to 50, Kobe Bryant went out and dropped 60 for the second time in three games on March 22, 2007, in a 121-119 win at Memphis.

He joined Elgin Baylor as the only Laker to score 50 or more in three consecutive games and was just the fourth player in NBA history to hit 50 three times in a row. Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan are the others. Bryant’s future teammate and friend, Pau Gasol, went for 35 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.

Kobe had another fantastic shooting night, going 20-for-37 (54.1%) from the floor, 3-for-7 (42.9%) from the three-point line, and 17-for-18 (94.4%) from the charity stripe. This was Bryant’s second time scoring 50 or more against Memphis. He scored 56 against them, in just three quarters, on January 14, 2002.

3/23/07-Bryant hits 50 on the nose again in a win over New Orleans

Kobe Bryant went for 50 on the dot once more as the Lakers triumphed over the New Orleans Hornets, 111-105, on March 23, 2007. This was the night Kobe joined Wilt as just the second player in history with four consecutive 50-point games.

Bryant had yet another good shooting performance, hitting his second-highest percentage of the streak with a 16-for-29 (55.2%) outing. He hit two of five threes and was a perfect 16-for-16 from the free-throw line. Perhaps the best three points of the entire streak came in the third quarter as he told a child in the stands that he would hit a three for him, did so, and then gave the kid a high-five afterward.

Kobe’s streak would come to an end two days later when he scored only 43 points in a win over the Warriors. It took Kobe Bryant just a few more days to hit 50 again, putting up 53 points against the Rockets on March 30.