Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 33

·1 min read

The three-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers were in a funk during the first two months of the 2002-03 season. As a result, they were in danger of missing the playoffs.

As the calendar turned to the new year, head coach Phil Jackson asked Kobe Bryant to be more aggressive on offense, and Bryant was happy to oblige.

As it turned out, it was exactly what the team needed.

Bryant averaged 30.5 points and 6.4 assists per game in January, but he was just getting warmed up.

On Feb. 6, the Lakers made their way to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks, and they put on a show.

They started to get uncorked in the second quarter. They took a double-digit lead, and Bryant led the way with 14 points.

He continued to pour it on in the third period with 22 points on one spectacular shot after another.

Los Angeles held on for a 114-109 win thanks to Bryant’s 46 points on 17-of-27 shooting. With that win, the team finally climbed over .500.

It would be the first of nine consecutive 40-point games for Bryant, a torrid stretch that helped propel the Lakers to 31 wins in their last 40 games and ensure a playoff spot.

List

Spurs are open to trading for Russell Westbrook

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire