On Dec. 14, 2014, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant scored 26 to points in a 100-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to surpass Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list. Bryant accomplished the feat with a pair of free throws in the second quarter.
He was treated to a standing ovation by the Target Center crowd, congratulated by teammates and Timberwolves players, and presented with the game ball from owner Glen Taylor. Bryant went into the night needing just 9 points to overtake his idol.
While a potent scorer, he missed four of his first five shots in the game, delaying history into the second quarter. Bryant shot 7-for-20 in the game but scored 10 points in the final five minutes and nailed a 3-pointer with just over one minute remaining that helped the Lakers clinch a victory.
On This Date: In 2014, Kobe passed Jordan on NBA's all-time scoring list 🐍 pic.twitter.com/MUUC1mxDov
— ESPN (@espn) December 14, 2018
The moment vaulted Bryant to third on the NBA’s career scoring list. That it came in Minneapolis, where the Lakers called home for their first 12 seasons until moving to Los Angeles in 1960, made it all the more memorable.
Injuries during his final seasons inhibited Bryant, who remained in third with 33,643 over 20 seasons with the Lakers. Then this past season, LeBron James overtook Bryant on the NBA scoring list.
James did so in Philadelphia, and spoke with Bryant after the game. Unfortunately the career moment wound up giving way to tragedy as Bryant was involved in a helicopter accident the next morning.