With the Los Angeles Lakers currently in the midst of the early portion of the LeBron James era, the Western Conference franchise is now several years removed from the heralded Kobe Bryant era. However, at least one Lakers player managed to turn back the clock on Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia 76ers — and no, it was not the aforementioned “King James” but rather youngster Kyle Kuzma.
The up-and-coming swingman notably dropped an impressive 23 points in the first quarter on Sunday afternoon in the “City of Brotherly Love.” As a result, Kuzma’s 23 first-quarter points have become the most points scored in a single quarter by any Lakers player since Kobe Bryant dropped 23 in the fourth quarter against the Jazz back in 2016 — which was also Bryant’s final NBA game.
.@kylekuzma's 23 Pts in the 1st quarter are the most by a Laker in any quarter since the 4th in @kobebryant's farewell. pic.twitter.com/8I2RRgfU7C
— ESPN (@espn) February 10, 2019
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Kuzma’s first quarter outburst also tied another record previously held solely by Bryant, who scored 23 points in the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies in March 2008. It is also worth noting that the 23-year-old rising star has now compiled three 20-point quarters this season, with James only totaling one such quarter in 2018-19.
Despite the fact that “King James” has been injured for the majority of his first season in a Lakers uniform, Kuzma’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.
Entering play on Sunday afternoon against the surging Sixers, Los Angeles was sporting a nearly even 28-27 record thus far into the 2018-19 campaign. The Lakers currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference standings.