Five days since Kobe Bryant's sudden tragic passing, the Los Angeles Lakers took the floor for the first time at the STAPLES Center.
Damian Lillard dropped a game-high 48 points (17-30 FGs), including 23 in the third quarter, while also recording 10 assists and nine rebounds as he led the Trail Blazers to a 127-119 win. He received plenty of help from Hassan Whiteside, who finished with 30 points (13-14 FGs) and 13 rebounds and five blocks.
For the Lakers, LeBron James (22p/10a/8r) and Anthony Davis (37p/15r/6a/5b) both recorded double-doubles.
The Lakers honoured the late great Bryant in several different ways.
This logo with Kobe's initials can be found on the Lakers' uniforms and the baseline at each end of the STAPLES Center court.
2 ♾ 8 pic.twitter.com/DeKsRqcTry- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 31, 2020
The House That Kobe Built pic.twitter.com/1exfvaXnE8- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 31, 2020
That same patch will also be on the t-shirts on every seat in the building. Half the arena will receive No. 8 Kobe shirts, the other half will receive No. 24 Kobe shirts.
"We've been through our ups and been through our downs. I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout." pic.twitter.com/AJDrr1WDIT- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 31, 2020
James, who uses Kobe Bryant's old locker, paid tribute to the legend with his jersey hanging in plain sight.
This locker. pic.twitter.com/zoErJY0rnL- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The Lakers kept two courtside seats empty in honour of Kobe and his daughter Gianna.
#GirlDad pic.twitter.com/vAdwfoKcJh- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
All the Lakers players were wearing Kobe's No. 8 and 24 jerseys in warmups.
The Lakers are all wearing No. 8 and No. 24 Kobe jerseys in warmups. pic.twitter.com/itgSPGtG3N- ESPN (@espn) February 1, 2020
At halftime, Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa help honour Kobe with their classic hit See You Again.
"Rest In Peace to the late, great Kobe Bryant." pic.twitter.com/jmqQMVC2UO- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
A proper warmup track Kobe Bryant by Lil' Wayne was playing through the STAPLES Center speakers.
Lakers going through shoot around to Lil Wayne's 'Kobe Bryant' 🔥 pic.twitter.com/pb8gBXatrY- Chris Montano (@gswchris) February 1, 2020
Gianna Bryant's teammates had a front row seat to tonight's contest.
Gigi's teammates sitting front row tonight. pic.twitter.com/jxFoF6I0SD- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 1, 2020
Usher sings Amazing Grace to begin the ceremony.
pic.twitter.com/2te07K4Wyh- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The tribute video. Amazing.
pic.twitter.com/F2Ahu0wHry- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
LeBron James is absolutely incredible. His speech - perfect.
.@KingJames gives a heartfelt speech during the Lakers' pregame ceremony. pic.twitter.com/BsYO0NlxIP- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 1, 2020
Detail is everything. LeBron rocking the arm sweatband and finger sweatband in honour of Kobe.
pic.twitter.com/loH66j7WJD- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
Detail pic.twitter.com/Zy4MNeJAxI- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The Lakers PA announcer announced all five of the Lakers starters as Kobe Bryant.
Every Lakers player was introduced as Kobe Bryant. pic.twitter.com/JyucXJhdN3- TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 1, 2020
During the game
As expected, the Lakers won the tip and took a 24-second shot clock violation. The Blazers followed that up with an eight-second backcourt violation. For Kobe.
The Lakers take a 24-second violation and the Blazers take an 8-second violation to honor Kobe. pic.twitter.com/eyAMI9V804- ESPN (@espn) February 1, 2020
Kobe's kicks are all over the STAPLES Center court tonight.
Legacy pic.twitter.com/QWuKlaiENX- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
James sported two of Kobe's sneakers for each half:
"In the words of Kobe Bryant, Mamba Out. In the words of us, Never Forgotten." - @KingJames pic.twitter.com/gx3ZEFTPtG- Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) February 1, 2020
Another pair of Kobes for @KingJames 👑🐍 pic.twitter.com/frBXv3bxVn- Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) February 1, 2020
Quinn Cook, who switched his number from 2 to 28 to honour both Gianna and Kobe Bryant, knocked down his first 3-point attempt in his new uniform.
First bucket for No. 28- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
(📺: @SpectrumSN ) pic.twitter.com/fnnxGRcFMR
Later, in the fourth quarter, a KOBE chant broke out.
The chant that scored 20 iconic years.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
(📺: @SpectrumSN ) pic.twitter.com/n6qWnFBOYk
"Come out here and play our hearts out. The one thing that we know for sure we had in common with Kobe is the love of this game."- ESPN (@espn) February 1, 2020
-Damian Lillard wanted to go out and honor Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/j0r1nM0YXp
"Our guys poured their guts out out there... We're disappointed we didn't get the win, but I couldn't be more proud of our guys' effort and their performance." pic.twitter.com/wvRkbUpSiV- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 1, 2020
LeBron James and Anthony Davis reflect on the past week and Kobe's impact on and off the court. pic.twitter.com/5IFRXx2Ogb- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 1, 2020