Tip Off Timer: 16 in OT for Gilbert Arenas Caps Great Performance
It's never easy to overshadow Kobe Bryant, especially on a night when he leaves with 45 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, a game that every star in the league would love to have.
Gilbert Arenas did it with a record-setting performance three seasons ago.
Arenas, who still is trying to reach the status that Bryant enjoys, set an NBA record for most points scored in an overtime period (16), doing it against one of the league's finest defensive players.
Although the Wizards were forced into overtime against the Lakers when Arenas missed the final shot in regulation, he made sure that a really special night had a really special ending.
He scored a franchise record 60 points, eclipsing former Washington greats like Earl Monroe (56 points), Phil Chenier (53 points), Bernard King (52 points) and Michael Jordan (51). A handful of NBA players have scored 60 or more. Only one has scored 16 in overtime.
He broke the record of 15 set by the unheralded Earl Boykins two seasons before.
It seemed only fair that the Wizards won it, 147-141, putting a thrilling spin on an early regular season game. It was just one of three times that season that Arenas scored at least 50 points.
He obviously had some special motivation on a night when he scored 29 points in the first three quarters, then got stronger as the game progressed. He had 15 in the fourth. Bryant, who had scored 81 points in one game the year before, was coming off a 53-point game just two days earlier.
Arenas, who grew up in the Los Angeles arena, had a crowd of family and friends at the game, and he didn't want to be just an afterthought to another great performance by Bryant.
He wanted to outshine him, and he did, leaving Bryant shaking his head and clamoring for help from the officials.
"It was bound to happen,'' Arenas said after the game. "I'm a scorer and I know I was going to have one of those days where I was clicking.''