It’s the shortest road trip in the NBA, but when the Lakers visit the Clippers on Tuesday, it’ll mark a milestone of sorts: Kobe Bryant(Kobe Bryant Jersey)’s final road game at Staples Center.
The retiring Bryant has played 27 games as the visitor in his home arena since the Clippers and Lakers began sharing Staples Center in the 1999-2000 season. Those games helped him set an NBA record: the most regular-season games played at one arena by a single player, a milestone he accomplished Sunday.
Bryant has faced the Clippers 67 times in his career entering tonight, racking up 47 wins and 20 losses. His career high in points against the Clippers is 50, done twice: once at home (April 12, 2007) and once on the “road” (Jan. 7, 2006). That’s a far cry from his first game against the Clippers, when Bryant scored just 4 points in 7 minutes of action as a rookie playing just his eighth NBA game.
While tonight is Bryant’s final road game against the Clippers, it might not be the final time he faces them, since the two teams are scheduled to play again Wednesday, with the Lakers designated as the home team for that game. That’s slated to be Bryant’s penultimate home game, with his final Staples Center appearance coming in the season finale against the Jazz on April 13.