This Day In Lakers History: Kobe Bryant Sinks Game-Winner At Buzzer To Defeat Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
Chris Carlson-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Lakers assembled a dynamic rostering entering the 2003-04 season, with what turned out to be four future Hall-of-Famers teaming up. However, the journey throughout the season turned into a catastrophe, filled with injuries and unforeseen external events getting in the way of basketball.

However, the likes Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal demonstrated many times that their talent was great enough to carry the Lakers to victory. That was particularly true for Bryant on Dec. 19, 2003, against Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets.

Bryant wouldn’t arrive at Staples Center until there were four minutes left in the first quarter, as he was working with his legal team for an appearance in a Colorado courtroom.

By halftime, the Lakers had opened up a 57-47 lead over the Nuggets, with a complete performance from their team.

The Nuggets made an all-out run before the game was about to end, as a double-digit deficit was trimmed to just four points. From there, both teams would go back-and-forth until O’Neal’s missed free throws and a Gary Payton missed layup allowed the Nuggets to tie the game at 99.

The Lakers had an opportunity for the final, shot however. Bryant received the ball from Devean George and drove to his left. He then used a pump fake to get defender Jon Barry off his feet, gathering himself and rising up to knock down the game-winner at the buzzer.

With that shot, the Lakers claimed a 101-99 victory, and Bryant knocked down his fifth and final basket of the night. The entire game was an oddity for him as it marked his first game off the bench since the 1999 season.

Showing up to support his teammates via a late flight, Bryant was able to contribute in a big way. O’Neal also chipped in 26 points, on 8-for-11 shooting, including 10-for-17 from the free throw line.

Kobe Bryant ranks third in career buzzer-beaters

Throughout his illustrious career, Bryant made eight total buzzer-beaters, tied for second in league history behind only Michael Jordan (nine) and even with LeBron James.

Seven of Bryant’s buzzer-beaters came in the regular season while one came in the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns in 2006.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Vs. Warriors Game 1 Preview: Well-Rested Looking To Steal One On Road

The Los Angeles Lakers were able to get a few days rest after dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round while waiting…

Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Chose No. 28 To Honor Gianna & Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers were a few steps away from an NBA Finals berth in 2022-23 but fell short in the Western Conference Finals…

Los Angeles Lakers Re-Sign Anthony Davis To 5-Year Contract

The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced they re-signed Anthony Davis. The team did not disclose terms of…

D’Angelo Russell Emphasizes Need To Flush Poor Shooting Night In Lakers’ Game 2 Loss To Grizzlies

After a great Game 1 performance, D’Angelo Russell came crashing back down to earth in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss…