SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers swept last season's series with Detroit 2-0 after splitting the 2008-09 series with the Pistons 1-1 for the second consecutive year. This will be the 201st meeting between the Pistons and Lakers in the Los Angeles era (131-69) and the 323rd game overall (195-127) between the two teams dating back to their first meeting in December of 1948. The Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 overall contests with Detroit. At home, the Lakers are 8-3 all-time against the Pistons at STAPLES Center. In Detroit, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 overall games, 2-6 in their last eight but 2-0 in their last two visits to the Palace of Auburn Hills. Prior to their six-game losing streak in Detroit from 2003- 08, the Lakers had won nine straight regular season games in Detroit from 1993-2002. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 13-7 against Detroit (1-4 in the postseason). In 25 career games including 21 starts against the Pistons, Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.7 points. In the Lakers 11/17/09 game vs. Detroit, Bryant matched a personal high of 40 points against the Pistons, marking the 100th 40-point game of his career. Furthermore, in that contest, Phil Jackson passed Larry Brown for 5th on the NBA's all-time coaching win list. On 2/8/07, the Lakers were held to a series low 78 points in Detroit, breaking the old mark of 81 points established 2/10/05 at Detroit. The Lakers and Pistons have met five times in the postseason since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, six including their time in Minneapolis, with the Lakers going 4-2 in those meetings but just 1-2 in NBA Finals. Piston's center Chris Wilcox and Lakers guard Steve Blake were teammates at the University of Maryland from 2000-02 and were both members of the Terrapins 2002 NCAA Championship team. Wilcox was also a teammate of Lamar Odom the 2002-03 season with the Clippers. Piston's forward Tayshaun Prince (Dominguez HS) played high school basketball locally in the Los Angeles area while forward Tracey McGrady and Ron Artest played together for the Houston Rockets during the 2008-09 season.
Wednesday's game in Detroit is the second of a back-to-back set with the Bucks and Pistons. This season, the Lakers are 2-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.
In their 116-121 loss to Phoenix on November 14th, the Lakers and Suns combined for 31 three-point field goals on the night, one shy of the NBA record of 32 established by Phoenix (18) at Seattle (14) in double overtime on January 22, 2006. The combined total marks the 8th time in NBA history that two teams have combined for 31 three- point field goals and just the 6th that two teams did so in a non-overtime game. It is the 3rd time the Lakers have been involved in combining for 31 three-point field goals, also doing so 3/30/08 (Lakers (14), Washington (17) – overtime) and 12/17/06 (Lakers (19), Washington (12) – overtime).
Additionally, the Suns total of 22 three-point field goals made was one shy of the NBA record of 23 established by the Orlando Magic 1/13/09 at Sacramento. In addition to breaking their own franchise record of 20 three-point field goals made, Phoenix eclipsed the Lakers opponent franchise record of 19 three-point field goals made, also established by the Suns in April of 2005.
BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 26,000 POINTS; 12th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE*
With his 17th point November 11th at Denver, Kobe Bryant reached 26,000 for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to do so in NBA history (32 years, 80 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 114 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 331 days). Additionally, Bryant became the 12th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points and the 8th fastest to do so (1,030) in terms of games, behind Shaquille O'Neal (1,022). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 26,000, doing so in 734 games. Among the remaining top five scorers in NBA history (Chamberlain and O'Neal already mentioned), Michael Jordan reached 26,000 points in 815 games, Abdul-Jabbar in 925 games and Karl Malone in 997 games.
Last season, with a free throw at the three minute mark of the 2nd quarter January 21st at Cleveland, Kobe Bryant scored his 25,000th career point, becoming the 15th NBA player in league history to do so as well as the youngest ever to reach the milestone at 31 years and 151 days of age. Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days) in terms of youngest to 25,000, with Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) 3rd and 4th respectively. In terms of games, Bryant (989 games) became the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960). Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 25,000 (691 games).
The youngest player in league history to accumulate 16,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 25,000 points, Bryant was the 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000 and 9th fastest to 25,000 points in terms of games.
Entering the Lakers game at Detroit, Derek Fisher has played in 424 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 624 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 302 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.
BRYANT'S FRANCHISE MILESTONES
In first quarter of the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for first on the Lakers all-time minutes played list (regular season). Additionally, in the first quarter of the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, Bryant passed Jerry West (9,016 FGM) for 2nd on the franchise's all- time field goals made list (regular season). Abdul-Jabbar ranks 1st in franchise history with 9,935 field goals made. In all, Bryant now ranks 1st or 2nd on the Lakers all- time list in points (1st), games (2nd), minutes (1st), steals (2nd), field goals made & attempted (2nd), free throws made & attempted (2nd), 3-point field goals made & attempted (1st) and free throw % (2nd).
ODOM 10TH FASTEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 11,000 POINTS, 6,000 REBOUNDS AND 3,000 ASSISTS; 29th EVER TO DO SO*
With 17 points 11/2 vs. Memphis, Lamar Odom recorded his 11,000th career point, becoming just the 29th player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 10th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (527 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Elgin Baylor (716 games) Alvan Adams (718 games) and Bill Russell (746 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 751 career games.
ODOM KICKS OFF THE SEASON ON A HOT STREAK*
Over the first five games of the season, Lamar Odom shot 35-for-50 (.700) from the field, ranking first in the NBA. The last player to shoot 70% from the field through the first five games of a season (min. 50 FGA) was Charles Barkley, who shot 43-for-60 (.716) over the first five games of the 1991-92 season. The only other time a Lakers player did so was Wilt Chamberlain, who shot 49-of-70 (.700) over the first five games of the 1968-69 season.
A ONE-TWO PUNCH TO START THE SEASON*
With 30 points from Pau Gasol and 23 points from Kobe Bryant in the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, the two became the first pair of teammates to both score at least 20 points in each of their team's first six games of a season since Larry Kenon and George Gervin did so over the first seven games for the 1979-80 San Antonio Spurs. Bryant and Gasol are the first pair of Lakers to do so since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West scored 20+ points each in their first six games of the 1970-71 season.
With their 124-105 victory over Memphis on November 2, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second straight game, after claiming their first wire-to wire victory of the season in a 107-83 victory over Golden State on October 31st. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).
GASOL IN GOOD COMPANY*
Through the first four games of the season, Pau Gasol amassed 97 points and 44 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field. Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, only four other Lakers had at least 90 points and 40 rebounds while shooting over .500 from the floor over the Lakers' first four games of a season. Gasol joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who last did it in 2001.
GASOL NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK; 7th CAREER HONOR
On November 1, the NBA announced that Pau Gasol had earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played Tuesday, October 26 through Sunday, October 31. The award is the 7th of his career (previous awards came for weeks ending 3/21/10, 2/22/09, 2/8/09, 3/26/06, 3/2/06 and 1/2/05) and 4th as a Laker. One of four Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O'Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and one of nine to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Gasol averaged 25.3 points (.525 FG%), 10.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 week: 10/26 vs. HOU: 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks; 10/29 @ PHX: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks; 10/31 vs. GS: 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks.
JACKSON FASTEST COACH TO 1,100 VICTORIES
With the Lakers victory at Phoenix October 29, Phil Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to the 1,100 career victories, doing so in his 1,560th regular season NBA game. Of the four other coaches who have amassed at least 1,100 career victories, Pat Riley was previously the fastest to do so, needing 1,639 games. Of the remaining three, Jerry Sloan needed 1,823 games, Don Nelson took 1,931 games and Lenny Wilkens earned career win 1,100 in his 1,996th game on the sidelines.
Jackson (1,107-462), already the fastest coach to 1,000 career victories, established the Lakers franchise record for coaching wins in February of 2010 (534th victory 2/3/10 vs. Charlotte). The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.706), Jackson currently ranks 5th all-time in regular season victories, 12th in regular season games coached, 1st in playoff games coached (323), 1st in playoff games won (225) and 1st in playoff win percentage (.697). Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Lenny Wilkens (2nd) and Don Nelson (1st) have more career victories than Jackson. Of the top five, Jackson has coached 900+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, 400+ fewer games than Sloan and 300+ fewer games than Riley.