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.

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 News: Darvin Ham Highlights Competitive Tone Set After First Summer League Practice

Even though all the focus is going to be on free agency, teams are also gearing up for Summer League which takes place…

This Day In Lakers History: Kobe Bryant Erupts For 42 Points After Day In Court To Even Playoff Series With Spurs

The 2003-04 NBA season was a particularly trying one for Kobe Bryant. Not only was he dealing with the likes of…

NBA Rumors: Lakers Among Teams To Watch For Isaiah Thomas

The Los Angeles Lakers have been prevalent in rumors as the trade deadline and buyout market approach…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Praises Dennis Schroder For Carrying ‘Heavy Load’ Offensively

When LeBron James tumbled to the floor injuring his ankle in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks on March 20, Dennis Schroder suddenly…