The 5th game of the famous 9 straight 40+ point streak vs New York Knicks.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were in the absense of Shaquille O'neal who missed a game because of a sore left knee. Even despite his absense, the Lakers were expected to win. Kobe Bryant had scored 4 straight 40+ point games and 8 straight 35+ point games.
Early in the game, both stars Kobe Bryant and Allan Houston from both teams were silent showing no signs of a shootout between the 2. In the 2nd quarter Houston became much more aggressive scoring from everywhere on the floor. He scored in the post, from downtown, and from drives. He caught fire as it became clear that the Lakers would not win without playing defense on him. He scored 23 by the half while Kobe was still rather quiet. In the 2nd half, Bryant had a different mindset from the 1st. He started looking for his offense more while creating for others. Unfortunately, Houston was still on fire from the 1st half hitting 7 out of 9 shots in the 3rd quarter. He scored 20 points in that quarter alone, very Kobe-esque. That hot shooting became contagious in the 4th as the Knicks appeared to have the game in hand holding a 102-88 lead with 4 minutes left while holding all of the momentum.
But Devean George went on to make 5 quick points cutting the lead to 102-93. Then Kobe, playing on plantar fascitis and leg problems, made 2 straight difficult threes in the corner while being undercut on his jumpshot and while drawing lots of contact. The Lakers never got closer to 104-99 as Allan Houston went on to score 53 points in the entire game leading the Knicks to a 117-110 win.
Kobe Bryant's final statline was 40 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals on 14-31 shooting and 3-5 from downtown. His counterpart Allan Houston finished the game with 53 points on a blistering 18-29.
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