Kobe Bryant scored 29 points Wednesday night, making the Lower Merion graduate the youngest player in NBA history to score 30,000 and the fifth ever to eclipse that mark, as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game skid with a 103-87 win over the host New Orleans Hornets.
Bryant entered the game needing only 13 points to eclipse the scoring milestone and did so with a short jumper late in the first half that was perhaps the least spectacular of his baskets, which included the usual array of soaring dunks, transition three-pointers, and turnaround, off-balance jumpers.
Because the basket came in the flow of play, there was hardly any reaction on the court as Bryant and his teammates ran back on defense.
Bryant is 34. Wilt Chamberlain was 35 when he hit the mark, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone were each 36, and Michael Jordan was 38.
Dwight Howard added 18 points for the Lakers, who trailed by a point at halftime but seized control with a 13-0 run to open the third quarter, and the lead grew to as large as 20.
Fined for flopping
Brooklyn Nets forward Gerald Wallace has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for flopping, joining teammate Reggie Evans as the only repeat offenders under the league's new penalty system.
The league also gave Clippers veteran Chauncey Billups a warning Wednesday for falling backward after launching a jumper against Utah with little or no contact.
Wallace was defending a driving LeBron James on Saturday in Miami when he went tumbling backward after James put his right hand on Wallace's body while dribbling with his left.
Wallace had previously been warned for a flop against New York on Nov. 26.
The league defines flopping as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player."
Players are warned for a first offense, with fines beginning at $5,000 for the second flop up to $30,000 for a fifth.
Seven players have been determined to have flopped after review by NBA officials. Evans is the only other player to be caught twice.
Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says veteran guard Richard Hamilton could miss two weeks because of a foot injury.
Hamilton sustained a left plantar fascia tear in Saturday's game against the Sixers and didn't play in Tuesday's loss to Indiana.
Cavaliers rookie guard Dion Waiters was out for Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls because of a sprained left ankle. The Philadelphia native, taken with the No. 4 pick in this year's draft, was injured in Saturday's double-overtime loss to Portland.
- Associated Press