Kobe Bryant's top 100 games: No. 21




 

After a poor start to the 2002-03 season, the Los Angeles Lakers started to regain their mojo in January and February.

They established two extended winning streaks during that span and finally got themselves over .500 just in time for the All-Star break.

But after back-to-back losses, the Lakers were again badly in need of a win on Feb. 18 when they hosted the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets had a much-heralded rookie center named Yao Ming, but Kobe Bryant made sure he would steal the show himself.

He scored 14 points in the first quarter to get Los Angeles off to a 25-16 lead, and once the contest went into extra periods, he would take things to another level.

Bryant scored a combined 17 points in the first and second overtimes as the Lakers outlasted Houston, 106-99.

They needed every bit of Bryant's 52 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots, as Shaquille O'Neal wasn't able to play. The superstar guard was able to do all that despite a sore knee that he claimed was bothering him a considerable amount.

The highlight of the contest was his baseline dunk over Ming (@ 4:03) which would become one of the better jams of his career.

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LeBron James, Anthony Davis get disrespected in ESPN NBA ranking

 

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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