This Day in Laker History: December 20th

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 20, 2005

Let’s set the scene: Following the previous Sunday’s 76-74 loss against the Houston Rockets, Kobe Bryant was livid. Bryant had already told Laker guard Smush Parker and assistant coach Brian Shaw that he would drop 50 points against the next team they played to send the message that teams had to go through Bryant if they wanted to defeat the Lakers. That next team was the best in the Western Conference, the 18-6 Dallas Mavericks.

To call Byrant’s performance that Tuesday evening “virtuoso” would be an understatement. Using a wide-array of three-pointers, fall-aways, lay-ups, dunks and jump shots coupled with his 25 free throw attempts would put the Laker guard at 62 points at the end of the third quarter, a then-career high as well as setting a franchise record for most points in a quarter by scoring 30 points during the third quarter. Bryant’s 62 points would outscore the Mavericks 62-61 at the end of the third quarter, and with the Lakers leading 95-61 as a team, Bryant would sit out the entire fourth quarter as the team coasted to a 112-90 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Quote of the Night: “Even if they sent two guys at me, I wanted to let them know tonight I was coming after you guys. – Laker Kobe Bryant on his performance against the Mavericks, outscoring their entire team 62-61. - From the LA Times, Dec. 21, 2003

James Cypert is a news and feature writer for When he's not perfecting his ill-advised Kareem-style sky-hook, you can find him on Laker Nation or follow him on Twitter.