Monday Feb. 2, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) -- Kobe Bryant broke the current Madison Square Garden record with 61 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers looked plenty potent without Andrew Bynum in a 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
Bryant teased and pleased a sold-out crowd that took turns booing him and saluting him during an electrifying performance with chants of "MVP! MVP!" He passed Michael Jordan's opponent record of 55 points at the present building, known as "Garden IV," when he hit three free throws with 3:56 remaining, then bettered Bernard King's mark of 60, set on Christmas Day 1984, with two more foul shots with 2:33 to play.
Bryant, who also finished with the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, left to a loud ovation after the 24th 50-point game of his career.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)