Kobe Bryant scoring an NBA-season high 48 points as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 99-83 last night was not only a great personal milestone, but it sets some league records as well. Before tip-off on Tuesday, 131 NBA games had been played, and not one player had reached the 40 point mark. Since the advent of the shot clock, this is the farthest into a season the NBA has gone without a 40 point scorer. The old "record" was 68 games.
Bryant's 48 points, at the age of 33 years 140 days, is the most by a player at least that old since Michael Jordan scored 51 points at the age of 38 as a member of the Wizards. Bryant is in his 16th season, is the first player to score 48 or more points that late in his career. Michael Jordan held the old record scoring 48 in his 14th season.
Last season, Bryant eclipsed the 40 point mark three times (139-137 3OT win 3/22 vs. Phoenix (42 points), 92-95 loss 11/28 vs. Indiana (41 points), 96-109 loss 1/30 vs. Boston (41 points)). In the 09-10 season, Bryant eclipsed the 40 point mark eight times. The Lakers are 74-34 all time in games where Bryant scores 40+ points.
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