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Kobe looks for another vintage MSG performance

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson congratulates guard

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson congratulates guard Kobe Bryant (24) in the fourth quarter during an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Feb. 2, 2009) Credit: AP

In the history of the modern Madison Square Garden, also known as MSG IV, 13 players have scored 50 points. Leading the way? Kobe Bryant.

On Feb. 2, 2009, Bryant dropped 61 points in a 126-117 win over the Knicks. Bryant shot 19-for-31 from the floor, 3-for-6 from three, and 20-for-20 from the line. He added three assists.

(You can see video of every point in that game below.)

Bryant's performance passed Bernard King's MSG IV record of 60 points, set 24 years earlier on Dec. 25, 1984. King, playing for the Knicks, shot 19-for-30 from the field and 22-for-26 from the charity stripe. King's former team, the Nets, won, 120-114.

Bryant will be back in town on Friday night as the Lakers make their lone trip to the Big Apple this season to take on red hot Jeremy Lin and the Knicks.

In his career, Bryant has played 13 games at Madison Square Garden. He's averaged 30.5 points per game on 48.4 percent from the floor. His career low at MSG is 1 point on Nov. 5, 1996 -- his second career game -- and he has scored at least 30 points seven times, and at least 40 points three times. His game log:

Date Field goals Points
Nov. 5, 1996 0-for-1 1
March 1, 1998 4-for-15 14
March 19, 2000 8-for-23 24
Jan. 28. 2001 12-for-27 33
Feb. 24, 2002 10-for-18 27
Feb. 6, 2003 17-for-27 46
Nov. 19, 2003 7-for-13 21
Feb. 28, 2005 7-for-17 30
Jan. 31, 2006 7-for-17 40
Dec. 23, 2007 14-for-28 39
Feb. 2, 2009 19-for-31 61
Jan. 22, 2010 8-for-24 27
Feb. 11, 2011 12-for-17 33

You can view every player to score 50 points at Madison Square Garden by clicking here. Included in the photo gallery are the 13 players that cracked the 50-point mark at the old Garden, MSG III. Wilt Chamberlain holds the all-time record -- he scored 73 points on Nov. 16, 1962 for the San Francisco Warriors -- and Elgin Baylor is second -- he scored a then-NBA record 71 points on Nov. 15, 1960 for the Lakers.


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