On Thursday, March 22, 2007, Kobe Bryant continued one of the best scoring tears of his career.
In a 121-119 Los Angeles Lakers win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant scored 60 points (on 20-for-37 shooting), pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists. In the second half alone, Bryant scored 36 points, shooting 15-for-16 from the charity stripe.
The performance also marked Kobe's third straight game of 50 or more points after he scored 65 against the Portland Trail Blazers and 50 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, good for an average of 58.3 points over a six-day span.
With his scoring outburst, Bryant became the first Laker in 45 years to score 50 or more points in three consecutive games after Elgin Baylor did so in 1962. To take it a step further, only two other players - Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan - had scored 50 in three straight games prior to Kobe joining their company.
"Growing up I idolized all of them, from Wilt, to M.J. to Elgin," Bryant told reporters post game. "It's a tremendous honor to be in that same class with those guys and in the history books."
As evidenced by the two-point decision, Los Angeles needed every single point from its superstar, who told reporters just why his feat was important: "It's special because it's coming off three straight wins. This is a stretch where we really need to make up some ground."
With the win, LA remained in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference, holding a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the sixth seed.
At the time, Bryant was also tied with Michael Jordan for most 60-point games in NBA history with four - he would break that tie with a 61-point performance at Madison Square Garden in 2009 and create more ground with his legendary 60-point performance in the final game of his career.
On the very next night, Bryant would again go for 50 points in a win over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. He finished the season averaging a league-best 31.6 points per game for his second-straight scoring title.
As for the Lakers, they would finish seventh in the West with a record of 42-40, falling in five games to the Phoenix Suns in the opening round of the 2007 Playoffs.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.