Bryant helped guide Los Angeles to a 103-87 win against New Orleans to become only the fifth player in NBA history to reach the milestone.
NBA: Kobe Bryant breaks through 30,000 points barrier as Lakers beat Hornets
Needing 13 more points to hit that mark before the start of the game, Bryant scored his 13th and 14th points on a short floating jumper with just over a minute remaining before half-time.
The 34-year-old becomes only the fifth player to reach the milestone, emulating Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419).
"It's a huge honour, to say the least," five-time NBA champion Bryant admitted.
"Whenever you hear those kinds of names, you think about the amount of players that have played this game, and then to be in that kind of company, it's always extremely, extremely special."
Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who has been sidelined because of tendinitis in both knees, tweeted: "Congratulations to the best scorer in the planet, mate and friend, Kobe! for joining the 30.000 points club!! Huge accomplishment! #Kobe30K"
Bryant ended up with 29 points on 10-17 shooting while six-time All-Star Dwight Howard weighed in with 18 as the Lakers snapped a two-game skid to improve their record to 9-10 this season.
JR Smith scored a jump shot on the buzzer to give the New York Knicks a 100-98 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points for the Knicks, while Smith made the decisive intervention after intercepting a pass from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist when the Bobcats looked set to snatch the win themselves.
Al Horford shone with 25 points and 12 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks edged out the Denver Nuggets 108-104.
Ty Lawson scored 32 points in a losing cause for the Nuggets.
Tony Parker and Gary Neal had 22 points apiece as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-99 for their 15th win of the season.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against his old team as the Boston Celtics beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-94.
Al Jefferson had a big day with 31 points and 15 boards in the Utah Jazz's 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic.
DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 107-100 win over the Toronto Raptors, who got 34 points from Kyle Lowry.
Twenty-three points from Marco Belinelli and 22 from Luol Deng saw the Chicago Bulls ease to a 95-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Klay Thompson led the Golden State Warriors with 27 points as they saw off the Detroit Pistons 104-97, the Indian Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-92 and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame the Dallas Mavericks 112-90.
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