It has been almost sixteen years since NBA Legend and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant famously outscored the Dallas Mavericks all by himself. On December 20, 2005, Bryant scored a then-career-high 62 points against the Mavericks in three quarters at the Staple Center.
After the third quarter’s conclusion, then Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson pulled Bryant and sat him down for the rest of the night. Bryant scored 30 points in that quarter alone, giving him 62, and the Mavericks only had 61 points as a team.
Former 15-year NBA veteran and now an assistant coach with the Mavericks, Darrell Armstrong was a member of the Mavs at the time. According to Armstrong, Bryant was not talking trash while he torched Dallas for a career-high 62 points.
“Nope, not one word,” Armstrong told ONE37pm via text.
When asked if the Mavericks knew Bryant was done for the night, Armstrong said yes, they were up big. “Yes, because they were up 30 points.”
Dirk Nowitzki was also on that team and shared with ESPN’s Marc Stein that the performance was "Sick...Insane.”
Armstrong shared that it was only the beginning because Bryant hit the Raptors for 81 points a month later on January 22nd. The Lakers needed every one of those 81 points by Bryant because they were losing for most of the game until the 1:12 mark of the third quarter.
After Bryant sent shockwaves around the league with his new career-high 81 points, according to Armstrong, Jerry Stackhouse shared that he thought if their game was close with the Lakers, Bryant would have scored 100 on the Mavs on December 20, 2005.
“Stackhouse said to me, DA, just think if the game was close? He scores 100 points on us. I said yep,” Armstrong said.
The late Dr. Jerry Buss said it was “like watching a miracle,” when he spoke to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Rest in peace to the legend, just two other accolades that will be a part of Bryant’s Hall of Fame induction.
-Landon Buford, Editorial Resident