SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers and Rockets have split the first two games of their season series with
Houston 1-1 with one game remaining. The Lakers have taken each of the last three
season series from the Rockets (2010-11 (2-1), 2009-10 (3-1), 2008-09 (4-0)) and
have not lost a series to Houston since dropping two-of-three games in 2007-08.
The two teams have met 193 times in all with the Lakers holding a 130-63 series
advantage (108-57 since the Rockets moved to Houston). The Lakers are 7-3
against the Rockets in their last 10 games overall. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers
are 16-8 all-time against the Rockets and 7-3 in their last 10. In Houston, the Lakers
are 6-4 in their last 10 road games and are 9-6 all-time at Toyota Center. Kobe
Bryant holds the series scoring record with two 53-point games. Both games broke
his own series mark of 52 established at STAPLES Center in February of 2003. In
51 career games (46 starts) versus Houston, Bryant is now averaging 27.1 points per
game, 5th highest among all teams behind Charlotte, Golden State, Toronto and
Portland. Lakers forward Metta World Peace played the 2008-09 season in Houston,
averaging 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.52 steals in 35.5 minutes
while setting single season career-highs in 3-point field goals made (153) and
attempted (383) in 69 games (55 starts). He was also teammates in Sacramento
from 2005-08 with current Rocket Kevin Martin. Rockets forward Luis Scola has
played internationally for the Argentinean national team as far back as 1999,
competing against both Kobe Bryant (Team USA) in the 2008 Summer Olympics in
Beijing and throughout the years against Pau Gasol and the Spanish national team.
In the postseason, the Lakers are 5-3 in eight meetings with the Rockets, most
recently defeating the Houston 4-3 in the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals.
LAKERS FORCE FRANCHISE-LOW THREE TURNOVERS
By forcing just three turnovers in a 125-105 loss at Phoenix on April 7, the Lakers saw the Suns set an opponent franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game. The
previous franchise-low of four opponent turnovers was originally established in a 108-114 loss 12/21/01 at Memphis, but was matched three times this season, with the
Lakers forcing four turnovers January 5 at Portland (96-107, loss), January 29 at Minnesota (106-101, win) and February 6 at Philadelphia (90-95, loss). Leaguwide, the
last time a team committed 3 turnovers or less came on back on 4/3/10, when the Pistons committed three turnovers at Atlanta.
In the Lakers 113-108 victory over the Clippers on April 4, Andrew Bynum scored 36 points on 13-of-20 shooting (.650) and Kobe Bryant scored 31 points on 13-of-19
shooting (.684). Since 1990, the only other pair of Lakers teammates to each score 30-plus points while shooting at least 65% from the field were Bryant (35 points on 11-
of-16 shooting ((.688)) and Shaquille O’Neal (31 points on 15-of-23 shooting (.652)) back on February 18, 2004 in a 100-99 Lakers victory at Golden State. *
With 40 points April 1 vs. Golden State, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the fifth time this season and 112th time (regular season) in his NBA career. With 42 points
January 14 in an away game against the Clippers, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the fourth consecutive game. Bryant’s 40+ point games this season came 1/10 vs.
Phoenix (48),1/11 at Utah (40), 1/13 vs. Cleveland (42), 1/14 @ LA Clippers (42) and 4/1 vs. Golden State (40). In the history of the NBA, only two players have more
career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 77-35 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points. Bryant holds the
Lakers franchise record for 40-point games in a season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point
games (9), established during the 2002-03 season. Only Wilt Chamberlain (14 twice, 10 once) has had longer consecutive 40-point game streaks in NBA history than
BRYANT FOUR STEALS SHY OF MAGIC JOHNSON’S FRANCHISE RECORD
Entering Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Nets, Kobe Bryant (1,720) stands four steals shy of Magic Johnson’s franchise record 1,724 steals. Johnson, who twice
led the league in steals (1980-81, 1981-82) and posted the third highest single-season steals per game average in NBA history during the 1980-81 season (3.43 spg),
ranks 15th on the NBA’s career steals list. Isiah Thomas (14
/1,861) and Derek Harper (13
/1,957) are next on the all-time list.
With 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers victory over the New Orleans Hornets, Andrew Bynum concluded March averaging 22.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in 17
contests during the month. This was the 30
time in his NBA career that Bynum has played at least five games in a month, but the first where he has averaged at least 20
points per game;his previous high coming in November of 2009 when he averaged 18.0 points in 12 games.*
SATURDAY SCHEDULING QUIRK
In facing the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday, March 31 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers will be playing for the 10th time at home in the regular season on a Saturday
since the start of the 1998-99 lockout shortened season. The game also marks the first non-holiday regular season home game on a Saturday for the Lakers since
defeating the Los Angeles Clippers back on January 17, 2004. The Lakers two most recent Saturday home games fell on Christmas day, with Los Angeles facing the
Miami Heat on 12/25/04 and again on 12/25/10. In all, the Lakers have gone 4-5 in Saturday home games since the start of the 1998-99 season. (4/3/99 vs. GS (76-81, L),
12/25/99 vs. SA (99-93, W), 1/22/00 vs. POR (91-95, L), 4/8/00 vs. SA (80-98, L), 12/1/01 vs. MIN (102-76, W), 2/1/03 vs. UTAH (99-87, W), 1/17/04 vs. LAC (91-89, W),
12/25/04 vs. MIA (102-104, L), 12/25/10 vs. MIA (80-96, L)).
BYNUM ON A ROLL
With 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 25th, Andrew Bynum recorded his fifth career 30+ point game and fourth of the 2011-12
season. Excluding Kobe Bryant, only Pau Gasol has had more 30+ point games in a single season (6, 2008-09) for the Lakers since the start of the 2004-05 season than
Bynum. Bynum’s other 30+ point games include: 33 points (12-of-14 FG (85.7 percent), 9-of-12 FT) against the Utah Jazz on March 18th; 37 points in a double overtime
victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on March 13th on 15-of-18 shooting from the field (83.3 percent) - marking just the fourth time in Lakers history that a player has scored
at least 37 points on better than 83 percent shooting (last Laker to accomplish this was Shaquille O’Neal, who did so back on November 19, 1999 in a victory over the
Bulls); and 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting March 6th in Detroit against the Pistons.
BRYANT 24 POINTS SHY OF MICHAEL JORDAN FOR 2ND ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
During the 2009-10 season, with his 29th point on February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. In the history of
the NBA, only two players have scored more points with a single franchise than Bryant (29,253): Karl Malone (1st/36,374) and Michael Jordan (2nd/29,277). Last season,
Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,511) 12/19/10 at Toronto and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago into third on this list.
SESSIONS MAKES GOOD IMPRESSION IN FIRST START WITH LAKERS
In his first start as a Laker, Ramon Sessions posted 20 points (6-10 FG, 2-3 3FG), 11 assists and six rebounds in 36 minutes to help the Lakers to a 103-96 victory over the
Portland Trail Blazers on March 23. In doing so, Sessions became the first Lakers point guard to post a 20-point/10-assist game since Chucky Atkins tallied 26 points and
10 rebounds in a 105-101 victory over Golden State back on January 21, 2005. Furthermore, Sessions is the first mid-season acquisition with a 20-point/10-assist game for
the Lakers since Lucius Allen had three such games after he was traded by Milwaukee to Los Angeles during the 1974-75 season.
ANDREW BYNUM NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
On March 19, the NBA announced that Andrew Bynum had earned Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 12 through Sunday, March
18, giving him the SECOND WC Player of the Week award of his career. Bynum led the Lakers to a 3-1 week, including back-to-back road wins against Memphis and New
Orleans and a home victory against Minnesota. Averaging 27.5 points and 14.8 rebounds, while shooting 66.5% from the field, Bynum led the Western Conference in
rebounding, placed second in the conference in scoring and finished fourth in the West in field-goal percentage on the week. Bynum collected point-rebound doubledoubles in all four of the Lakers games, including 37 points (15-18 FG) and 16 rebounds 3/13 @ Memphis, 25 points and 19 rebounds 3/14 @ New Orleans and 33 points
(12-14 FG) and 11 rebounds 3/18 vs. Utah. Bynum’s first career WC Player of the Week award was earned back on January 26, 2009, when Bynum averaged 23.5 points,
11.5 rebounds and 2.25 blocks in helping lead the Lakers to a 4-0 week from 1/19/09 to 1/25/09.
BYNUM ON A ROLL
With 33 points (12-of-14 FG (85.7 percent), 9-of-12 FT) against the Utah Jazz on March 18th, Andrew Bynum recorded his fourth career 30+ point game, but third in his last
eight contests. Scoring 37 points in the Lakers double overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on March 13th, going 15-of-18 from the field (83.3 percent), Bynum’s
night marked just the fourth time in Lakers history that a player has scored at least 37 points on better than 83 percent shooting. The last Laker to accomplish this was
Shaquille O’Neal, who did so back on November 19, 1999 in a victory over the Bulls. Bynum’s first 30+ point game of the month came on March 6th in Detroit, when he
scored 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting.
With their 97-92 victory over Minnesota on March 16th, the Lakers recorded their SECOND wire-to-wire victory of the 2011-12 season. Their other wire-to-wire victory
(game in which they never trailed) also came against the Timberwolves (104-85 (2/29)). Last year, the Lakers led the NBA with 10 wire-to-wire victories, all coming during
the regular season. During the team’s two most recent championship runs, they recorded nine wire-to-wire victories in 2009-10 (seven during the regular season and two
during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City)) and 11 wire-to-wire victories in 2008-09 (nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29
vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston)). The Lakers have also lost one game this season in wire-to-wire fashion, falling to the Clippers 102-94 on January 14th. Last year, the
Lakers lost two such games: (98-107 1/8/10 at POR & 75-91 3/26/10 at OKC).
In acquiring Ramon Sessions (25) and Christian Eyenga (22) from Cleveland for Luke Walton (32) and Jason Kapono (31) and Jordan Hill (24) from Houston for Derek
Fisher (37) prior to the March 15 trade deadline, the Lakers average team age saw two years shaved off of it, going from 29 years, 149 days to 27 years, 133 days.
*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau