SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers swept last season's series with Washington 2-0 for the third consecutive year. This will be the 177th meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers leading the all-time series 113-63. Over the past 30 years, the Lakers have lost just two season series to Washington (1975-76; 1-3 and 2004-05; 0-2). The Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 overall meetings with the Wizards but have taken their last seven straight from Washington. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the Wizards. In Washington, the Lakers have won four straight and have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games at Verizon Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, Los Angeles is 16-4 against Washington. On December 17, 2006 at STAPLES Center, Gilbert Arenas and Kobe Bryant became only the seventh pair of opponents to put up 60- plus points and 45-plus points in the same game. In that game, Arenas became just the 8th player to score 60+ points against the Lakers while establishing a series record for points. Bryant's Los Angeles series record 55 points against Washington came against the Michael Jordan-led Wizards in March of 2003 at STAPLES Center. In 24 career games including 20 starts, Bryant is averaging 25.1 points against Washington. Additionally, Luke Walton and Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas played collegiately together at the University of Arizona. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak was a member of the 1977-78 Washington Bullets NBA Championship team. Wizards guard Nick Young played collegiately at USC (2004-07) and in high school locally at Cleveland HS in Reseda, CA. Wizards assistant coach Mike Wells was an assistant coach on the Lakers bench for the 2004-05 season.
This season, the Lakers are 2-1 in the first game and 2-1 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.
With 41 points November 28th versus Indiana, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the 105th time (regular season) in his NBA career. Bryant last topped the 40-point mark in the regular season back on February 1, 2010 at Memphis when he scored 44 points while passing Jerry West to become the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Last season, Bryant eclipsed the 40-point mark eight times, with the Lakers going 7-1 in those games. 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 72-33 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40- point games in a single 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 league history than Bryant.
BRYANT 5th ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
With his 29th point February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Additionally, having scored all his points with the Lakers, Bryant moved to sixth on the NBA's franchise career points list. On February 24, 2010 at Dallas, Bryant moved past Reggie Miller (25,279) for 5th on this list. To date, only four players in league history have scored more points for a single franchise than Bryant.
GASOL'S PERFECT SHOOTING NIGHT
With 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line, Pau Gasol became just the third player in the NBA's shot clock era to record a perfect shooting night from the field and the line with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. The only other players to accomplish this rare feat are Gary Payton in January of 1995 (32 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists (14-14 FG, 3-3 FT)) and Charles Barkley in March of 1989 (31 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists (10-10 FG, 9-9 FT)). Additionally, Gasol became the fifth Laker in franchise history to convert at least 10 field goals without a miss in a single game and the first to do so since Byron Scott went 10-for-10 2/26/86 at Dallas. Wilt Chamberlain converted a franchise record 14-of-14 field goals without a miss 3/11/69 vs. Detroit with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11-11 FG twice) and Mitch Kupchak (11-11 FG) rounding out the list.
Entering the Lakers game vs. Washington Derek Fisher has played in 433 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 631 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 311 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.
SHUTTING IT DOWN EARLY
In the Lakers victory 11/17 at Detroit, Kobe Bryant scored 33 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The 33 points are the most Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play in the fourth quarter or overtime since Feb. 23, 2007 against the Celtics. In that contest, Bryant scored 38 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The most points Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play the fourth quarter came on Dec. 20, 2005 when he posted 62 points in 33 minutes vs. Dallas (18-31 FG, 22-25 FT). Bryant established a franchise record for points in a quarter with 30 in the third of that contest, single-handedly outscoring the entire Mavericks team 62-61 through three quarters.
PERFECT NIGHT FOR BARNES
In the Lakers 112-95 victory 11/19 at Minnesota, Matt Barnes came off the bench to score 24 points on a perfect night from the field and free-throw line (7-7 FG, 5-5 3FG, 5-5 FT). Since the NBA instituted the three-point shot prior to the 1979-80 season, only two other bench players have been perfect from the free-throw line and from three- point range with at least five attempts in each category in the same game. New Jersey's Bostjan Nachbar shot 6-for-6 from three-point range and 5-for-5 from the free- throw line on 4/15/07 and Craig Ehlo shot 5-for-5 from three-point range and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe for Atlanta on 1/30/96.
BARNES JOINS BARKLEY FOR UNIQUE DISTINCTION
With 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists 11/19 at Minnesota on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, Matt Barnes joined Charles Barkley as the only other player in NBA history to post a minimum 20-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist night while not missing a single shot, with a minimum of 5 field goal attempts AND 5 free throw attempts. Barkley posted 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists on a perfect 10-of-10 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free throw line in a 135-122 victory over the Spurs back on March 24, 1989 with the 76ers. Ironically, just one game later, Pau Gasol became the third player in NBA history to do so, posting 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists on 10-of-10 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 shooting from the foul line in the Lakers victory 11/21 vs. Golden State.
With their 117-89 victory over Golden State on November 21st, the Lakers recorded their THIRD wire-to-wire win of the season as well as their second against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS) this year. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victory came in a 124-105 win 11/2 vs. Memphis. 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).
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.
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.
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.