Kobe Bryant is one of the most decorated scorers in the history of the NBA, finishing his career third on the all-time scoring list. The Los Angeles Lakers legend set many records along the way, including on March 5, 2003.
Against a familiar foe, the Indiana Pacers, Bryant scored 20 points on the night, in the process becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career points. Just as importantly, the Lakers got the win over the Pacers thanks to a buzzer-beater from another legendary clutch player.
‘Big Shot’ Robert Horry hit a 20-footer as the clock ran down to lift the Lakers to the victory, showing that he has the clutch shots available even when it isn’t playoff time.
It was actually an off night for Kobe, who made just nine of his 26 field goals. This game also snapped his ridiculous streak of 16 straight games with at least 30 points. But as usual, Bryant made up for it in other ways, adding 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals to help the Lakers get the win.
Shaquille O’Neal was his normal dominant self with 26 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, while Derek Fisher added 19 points. Jermaine O’Neal led the Pacers with 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Ron Artest added 17 points and 11 boards.
Nonetheless, this night was all about Kobe making history. Reaching a mark of 10,000 points at just 24 years of age is phenomenal, and something very few players are capable of. Even Kobe himself couldn’t put it into words following the game.
His teammate Shaq did however, calling Kobe a future Hall of Famer. Truer words were never spoken. Eventually, this record would be broken by LeBron James, but that does nothing to take away from the magnitude of Kobe’s accomplishment on this night.
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