Kobe's 61 KOs Knicks, Breaks Garden Record

Bryant leads Lakers to victory

Kobe Bryant broke the Madison Square Garden scoring record in an electrifying performance Monday night, torching the New York Knicks for 61 points in the Lakers' 126-117 victory.

Evoking the glory days of Michael Jordan, who previously held the opponent's record for points in the Garden with 55, Kobe was unstoppable while playing up to a first-hostile, then-euphoric crowd. Shooting 19-of-31 from the field and an impeccable 20-of-20 from the line, Bryant scored more points than any combination of four Laker teammates combined.

To their credit, the Knicks held their own in going toe-to-toe with the superstar. But the night would belong to No. 24, who broke a scoring record that stood for 25 years. Bernard King scored 60 back on Christmas Day in 1984, but Kobe would pass him with about two minutes left in the game.

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni talked about the stretch of games that brings Kobe, LeBron James and the world champion Boston Celtics into the Garden as an opportunity for the Knicks to step up their game. Unfortunately, now, considering the competitive nature of NBA superstars, they have to worry about LeBron and Paul Pierce deciding to try and up the ante by setting their own scoring records. The Knicks may need to elevate their game just to avoid embarrassment at the hands of the NBA elite.

Of course, for fans it's still exciting -- are you not entertained? -- and if this is any indication how Superstar Week at Madison Square Garden is going to play out, you might want to head over to Craigslist right after this post ends to see about tickets for the next "Dream" (or "nightmare", depending on who you ask) show.

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