Here we go again!!! The Boston Celtics will welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to TD Garden tonight. Tip-off is at 8pm. The Celtics will try to season-high winning streak to six games.
The Lakers are 3-9 and are currently on a season-high six game road trip.
Both Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce got some great accomplishments out of the way before this matchup. Kobe passed Shaquille O'Neal for fifth place on the NBA’s career scoring list and Paul passed Larry Bird to become the 2nd highest scorer in Boston Celtics history behind only John Havlicek.
Kobe Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list Sunday and moved into third place behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
The Los Angeles Lakers star, now in his 19th season, passed the Chicago Bulls legend (32,292 points) and the player to whom he has long been compared with a free throw in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
“I’m just honored to be here, man, to still be playing,” Bryant said. “I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”
Bryant, 36, entered Sunday’s 100-94 win eight points shy of Jordan’s mark. He finished with 26 points on 7-of-20 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Bryant now trails only Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Malone (36,928) in career NBA points.
For Bryant, the milestone is no small feat, as he forged his Hall of Fame career in Jordan’s shadow, with every achievement measured against his idol, almost since the day Bryant entered the league in 1996 at the age of 18.
Kobe Bryant, left, scored his 32,293rd point Sunday night, passing Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA’s career scoring list.
“I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone,” Jordan told the Associated Press in a statement. “He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”
“He knows how much I’ve learned from him,” Bryant said of Jordan. “From the other legends, but him in particular.”
Phil Jackson coached both players in the NBA. he won six titles with Jordan’s Bulls and five with Bryant’s Lakers, and he wrote in his book “Eleven Rings” that Bryant was “hell-bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game.”
Bryant disputes Jackson’s claim and has downplayed topping Jordan’s scoring total for weeks. “It’s really not a big deal to say I passed him for something like that,” Bryant said. “It’s a great accomplishment, but the true beauty is in the journey.”
To commemorate the achievement, Nike, which sponsors both athletes, put a special edition “Mamba Moment” shoe on sale online for $245.
LeBron James, who grew up admiring Bryant, was one of many who took to Twitter to congratulate the future Hall of Famer