SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their season series with the Bulls 1-0 after sweeping last season's series with Chicago 2-0 for the third consecutive year. This will be the 139th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series 84-54. The Lakers have won seven straight against the Bulls and are 9-1 against Chicago in their last 10 overall games. In Chicago, the Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games at the United Center against the Bulls but have won their last three straight. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 10-2 all-time against the Bulls and have won 8-of-their-last-9. Under head coach Phil Jackson, who coached in Chicago for nine seasons, the Lakers are 16-5 all-time against his former team, 9-2 in Los Angeles, 7-3 in Chicago. Lakers assistant coach Frank Hamblen spent three years as an assistant in Chicago and was a member of the 1997 and 1998 Bulls Championship teams. Assistant coach Jim Cleamons spent seven seasons as an assistant in Chicago and was a member of the 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996 Bulls Championship teams. Lakers Special Assistant Coach Craig Hodges played four seasons with the Bulls and was a member of their 1991 and 1992 Championship teams. On November 18, 2007, the Lakers defeated the Bulls by 28 points, surpassing the old series record of 27 established back on February 18, 1968. One year earlier, the Lakers held the Bulls to a series-low 72 points November 19, 2006 at STAPLES Center. In 25 career games (21 starts) against Chicago, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.7 points with high games of 43 in Los Angeles (11/20/05) and 42 in Chicago (12/15/09). Additionally, forward Ron Artest was drafted by the Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, playing 2 1⁄2 seasons with Chicago and earning All-Rookie Second Team honors his rookie year. Guard Shannon Brown grew up just a few miles outside of Chicago, earning First Team Parade All-American, McDonald's All-American, Illinois Mr. Basketball and co-MVP of the Jordan Capital Classic (with LeBron James) as a senior at Provisio East HS in Maywood, IL. He played six games with the Bulls in 2008 after being acquired from Cleveland.
BRYANT APPROACHING 11th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With 22 points against the Kings (12/3/10), Kobe Bryant (26,375) moved within 20 points of John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (26.6 ppg), Bryant would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant and Havlicek are Dominique Wilkins (10th/26,668), Oscar Robertson (9th/26,710), Hakeem Olajuwon (8th/26,946), Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409).
Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years and last season alone, passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195), Gary Payton (21,813) and Larry Bird (21,791).
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.
Known for his clutch shooting, Derek Fisher delivered once again for the Lakers in their 87-86 victory over the Clippers on December 8th, this time in game-winning fashion with a running three-foot layup high off the glass as the buzzer sounded. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the stat began being tracked prior to the 2000-01 season, Fisher now has five game winning field goals, four in the regular season and one in the playoffs (FGM in last 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime). Only two, however, have actually come with the Lakers; the other being his famous 0.4 second buzzer beater 5/13/04 at San Antonio (74-73 win). Fisher's other game winners came with Utah (2/10/07 vs. NY (104-102 win) and Golden State (3/25/05 vs. MIL (118-117 win), 12/28/05 vs. BOS (111-109 win)).
Last season, teammate Kobe Bryant connected on six game-winners; the most game winning field goals of any player in a single season over the last 10 years (Carmelo Anthony ranks second on this list with five game-winning field goals in 2005-06). Since the start of the 2000-01 season, Bryant has 20 field goals that have given his team the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime, the most in the league over that span.
Entering the Lakers game in Chicago, Derek Fisher has played in 435 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, the longest consecutive games streak among all active NBA players. Fisher moved into the top position after Portland's Andre Miller (632) missed the Blazers game against Phoenix (12/7/10) due to NBA suspension. Additionally, Fisher has started 313 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than a season's worth of games (2nd – Luis Scola). 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.
With their 115-108 victory over Washington on December 7th, the Lakers recorded their FOURTH wire-to-wire win of the season. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS) and Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM). 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).
This season, the Lakers are 3-1 in the first game and 3-1 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-backs 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.
EMPHATIC END TO LOSING STREAK
The Lakers ended their first 4-game losing streak since April of '07 with a 113-80 victory over Sacramento (12/3/10). It's the second-largest margin of victory to end a losing streak of at least four games the Lakers have ever had. The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Hawks by 46 points on January 9, 2004 (113-67).*
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.
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.
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 the fourth quarter or overtime since 2/23/07 against the Celtics. In that contest, Bryant scored 38 points before sitting out the entire fourth. The most points Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play the fourth came 12/20/05 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.*
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.
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.
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).
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 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 (1,114-466), 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 (.705), 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.