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Kobe: Youngest player to score 10,000 points

3/6/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Before Robert Horry ended the game with a
vintage Robert Horry moment, Kobe Bryant set an NBA standard by
becoming the youngest player to score 10,000 points.

Bryant hit the plateau in the third quarter of the Los Angeles
Lakers' 97-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, a
game won on Horry's 20-footer at the final buzzer.

The crowd of 18,997 gave Bryant a standing ovation when he
scored his 14th point of the game. At 24 years, 193 days, he
supplanted Bob McAdoo as the youngest player to reach that
milestone.

"I really can't grasp what it means right now. I had no idea
the crowd was going to stand up the way they did. It was a little
embarrassing, but it was a good feeling," said Bryant, who
finished with 20 points.

Shaquille O'Neal, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds, was
impressed.

"It's an accomplishment, especially for a guy that came out of
high school right away," said O'Neal, who is third on the list.
"He's going to be a Hall of Fame player. I'm just glad he's on my
team."

The Lakers led by 17 early in the third quarter then fell behind
in the waning moments before Derek Fisher scored on two drives and
Horry won it.

Coach Phil Jackson was back on the bench after missing three
games following a procedure for a kidney stone.

"That was one we pulled out of the fire," Jackson said. "I
felt pretty good. I have another procedure tomorrow and hopefully
this will be over and done with and we can move on."

Bryant, who missed some practice time this week because of sore
knees, hit the scoring plateau with a hanging jumper in the lane.

Bryant, however, saw his streak of 16 consecutive games with 30
or more points end.

The loss, the Pacers' eighth in their last nine games, dropped
them into a tie with Detroit for the top spot in the Central
Division. Indiana (38-23) also is tied with the Pistons and New
Jersey for best overall record in the Eastern Conference.

Jermaine O'Neal scored 28 points for the Pacers, who took the
lead late in the game after trailing 59-42 two minutes into the
third quarter. Ron Artest added 17 points.

"In the first half, we were afraid to play," Indiana coach
Isiah Thomas said. "Then I thought we started playing with energy
and effort. They're the champs, and any time you have a chance to
beat the champs on their homecourt and don't, it hurts."

Fisher, who scored 19, tied it at 95 with 31 seconds remaining.
Bryant then appeared to put the Lakers up when he hit a running
30-footer with 2.8 seconds left. But the basket was waved off
because Artest had been called for a foul before Bryant got the
shot off.

After a timeout, the Lakers inbounded the ball, then Horry -- as
he did in the Lakers' dramatic playoff victory over Sacramento last
year _ was in the right place at the right time, with a pass into
O'Neal deflected right to him.

"I'm just very, very blessed. I had good looks on our last
three possessions before that," Horry said. "I'd missed two 3's
and turned it over, so I was pretty mad at myself. I just let
everything go and focused."

The 57-year-old Jackson, who underwent the kidney stone
procedure on Feb. 24, had not missed a game previously in 13 years
of coaching in the NBA spanning 1,249 regular-season and playoff
contests.

The Lakers went 2-1 while Jackson was out, with assistant Jim
Cleamons filling in.

Bryant came into the league straight out of high school and
played his first NBA game when he was 18 years and about two months
old. McAdoo made his debut at 21 and was 25 and about five months
when he hit 10,000.

Game notes
O'Neal also was 25 when he reached the plateau, but 193
days older than McAdoo when he hit the mark. Jordan is fourth at 25
years, 343 days, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fifth, just one day older
than Jordan was.

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