);
Los Angeles Lakers

This Date in NBA History: Kobe Bryant's two iconic clutch shots in 2004 regular season finale against the Trail Blazers and more

On April 14 in 2004, which was the final game-day of the 2003-04 regular season, Kobe Bryant knocked down not one, but two clutch shots to help the Los Angeles Lakers escape Portland with a crucial 105-104 double-overtime victory.

First, with eight seconds left in regulation, the Lakers, coming out of a timeout, were down 87-84. That's when Bryant twisted, turned and eventually knocked down an off-balance game-tying 3-pointer over Ruben Patterson with only 1.1 seconds left.

That shot, which effectively forced overtime, came after Patterson missed a pair of free-throws on the earlier possession that could have iced the game. With that shot, Bryant led all scorers in the final quarter with 12 points.

Image above: Kobe Bryant's overtime-forcing 3-pointer

It was a Bryant 3-pointer, at the 3:21 mark of the fourth quarter, that gave the Lakers their first lead (82-81) of the second half after they trailed by as many as 10 at the 4:30 mark of the third quarter.

After both teams scored eight points in the first overtime, to be tied at 95, it was time for the second set of five minutes to be added to the game clock. The Lakers clinched the extra session and the game by outscoring the hosts 10-9 but not before Bryant pulled off his second heroic shot for the night.

The Lakers, coming out of a timeout, were down 104-102 with just one second left. Then, Bryant hit the buzzer-beating game-winner.

The win was critical as it helped the Lakers clinched the Pacific Division title after the Sacramento Kings earlier in the day lost 97-91 to the Golden State Warriors. The Division title meant the Lakers entered the 2004 Playoffs as the second seed instead of what could have been the fourth seed.

"It was a great shot by the young fellow," O'Neal said. "He told us, `Set me a good pick and we're going home with a win.' That's the sign of a great player, a great, confident shot."

Bryant finished with a game-high 37 points in 53:28 minutes of playing time, while O'Neal contributed across the board with 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and four blocks in 49:31 minutes of action.

Other notable events on April 14th

  • In 1962, Elgin Baylor scored an NBA Finals record 61 points in Game 5 at Boston Garden as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 126-121. His Finals record of 22 field goals was tied five years later by San Francisco's Rick Barry.
  • In 1975, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Seattle Supersonics 123-96 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. In the win, the team set a playoff record 22 steals led by Rick Barry's playoff record of eight steals.
  • In 1976, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the fourth of his record six league MVP awards. Playing all 82 games in his first season for the Los Angeles Lakers, he averaged 27.7 points while also putting up league-leading averages of 16.9 rebounds and 4.1 blocks.
  • In 1985, Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz finished with a total of 456 blocks shots for a season average of 5.56. Both are NBA records.
  • In 1992, as the New Jersey Nets defeated the Miami Heat 105-100, coach Bill Fitch established a record for the most games coached in NBA history (passing Dick Motta), with 1,720. He was later passed by the all-time leader Lenny Wilkins.
  • In 1994, the Seattle Supersonics became the second NBA team to have 10 players finish in double figures in a 150-101 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. Detlef Schrempf was the highest scorer with 21 points. The Supersonics also had 10 players finish in double figures earlier in 1980 when they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 135-104.
  • In 2008, rookie Ramon Sessions dished out a career-high and Bucks franchise-record 24 assists in a 151-135 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Game-winning buzzer-beaters on April 14th

Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Atlanta Hawks in 2014

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#Adebayo
Heat advance to NBA Finals with Game 6 win
Benyam Kidane
best-small-forwards-free-agency-crowder-hayward-ingram
Best small forwards in free agency
Kyle Irving
#LeBron
Let's not take LeBron for granted
Gilbert McGregor
butler-tatum-ftr.jpg
Can the Celtics force a Game 7?
Kyle Irving
#LeBron
Green calls LeBron 'greatest player in the world'
Kane Pitman
adebayo-davis-tatum-james-ftr-nbae-gettyimages
Discussing LA's potential Finals matchups
Gilbert McGregor and Kyle Irving
More News