This day in sports: Kobe Bryant scores 50 points for the second consecutive game
When the NBA stopped play because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz were bunched behind the Lakers in the Western Conference standings, with three games separating the trio.
The Lakers would have hosted the Jazz on Wednesday night and the Clippers would have played at Denver. Victories by the L.A. teams could have given coach Doc Rivers’ club a little elbow-bump room in its run to the playoffs.
In other sports, the Ducks were scheduled to meet the powerful Boston Bruins (100 points in the Atlantic Division) at Honda Center, and LAFC and Cruz Azul were to play a CONCACAF Champions League game at Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium.
The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled the sports calendar, but here’s a look at what was supposed to happen -- and has happened -- on this date.
Here is a look at memorable games and sports performances on this date:
1945 — In the Montreal Canadiens’ last game of the season, Maurice “Rocket” Richard scores his 50th goal and becomes the first NHL player to reach that mark. The Canadiens beat the Bruins 4-2.
1950 — City College of New York beats Bradley 69-61 to win the NIT championship.
1990 — Jeff Fryer scores 41 points to lead run-and-shoot Loyola Marymount to a 149-115 victory over defending national champion Michigan in the highest-scoring game in NCAA tournament history.
2001 — Reggie Miller is the first NBA player to make 2,000 three-point shots, connecting on four tries during the Indiana Pacers’ 101-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
2002 — Sami Kapanen’s goal with 10.4 seconds left helps the Carolina Hurricanes extend their NHL record of ties at home to seven in a row in a 1-1 draw with the Canadiens.
2007 — Kobe Bryant scores 50 points for the second consecutive game to lead the Lakers to a 109-102 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bryant makes 17 of 35 shots, including four three-pointers. Smush Parker scores 19 points for the Lakers.
2009 — New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur sets a record for victories by an NHL goaltender, getting his 552nd in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
2013 — LeBron James and the Miami Heat leave Boston with their 23rd consecutive victory, the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. James scores 37 points and makes the go-ahead basket with 10.5 seconds left in the 105-103 win against the Celtics. The 1971-72 Lakers won 33 games in a row.
2016 — The Pac-12 Conference gets off to a horrible start in the NCAA basketball tournament when Oregon State and California lose to Virginia Commonwealth and Hawaii, respectively, in the first round. The two losses give the conference a 2-5 record, with only Oregon and Utah advancing after seven teams had qualified, including USC, which lost to Providence.
2016 — Serena Williams defeats Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets to reach the women’s final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The match, and the tournament, is covered by Helene Elliott of The Times, who notes that Williams is a fan favorite in the desert again after her unpopular withdrawal from the tournament 15 years earlier.
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