Chants of 'Kobe, Kobe' resounded in most stadiums as players honoured the five-time championship winner and dealt with their own grief in various ways.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in California on Sunday morning.
Pictures of Bryant were displayed on the large screens outside Madison Square Garden, the location of some of his finest moments.
Pascal Siakam scored 35 points to lead Toronto to a narrow 110-106 away victory and a seventh straight win.
In Memphis, the Grizzlies won the opening tip-off and immediately took a 24-second shot clock violation.
The Phoenix Suns responded with their first possession by staying in the backcourt to incur an eight-second violation, a nod to the fact Bryant started his career wearing eight.
The Grizzlies won 114-109, with Ja Morant scoring 14 of his 23 points in the last quarter to hold off the fast finishing Suns.
Young wore a number eight jersey for the first few seconds of the match, put a tribute to Bryant on his shoes, and looked up to the heavens several times to honour Bryant, his mentor and favourite player.
In other games, the Portland Trail Blazers won 139-129 at home to the Indiana Pacers, the New Orleans Pelicans beat the visiting Boston Celtics 123-108, the Los Angeles Clippers won 112-97 at the Orlando Magic and the Denver Nuggets won 117-110 at home to the Houston Rockets.