GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Miami Heat 20 27 28 21 96
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 14 24 26 16 80

LeBron has triple-double, Heat rout Lakers


LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers finally got their first look at the revamped Miami Heat, and the champs might be a little bit disturbed by what they saw.

LeBron James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists while hitting a season-high five 3-pointers, and the Heat thrived on the holiday stage in a 96-80 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Saturday.

Chris Bosh had 24 points and 13 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 18 points on a sore knee and the Heat won for the 14th time in 15 games while flustering the two-time defending champions into a terrible offensive performance.

Although both teams called the game a television curiosity rather than a potential NBA finals preview, it clearly meant something to James, who had his third triple-double with Miami and the 31st of his career. He also outplayed Bryant again in his second straight Christmas win at Staples Center, punctuating the win with what certainly appeared to be mutual trash talk in the final minutes.

Bryant and Pau Gasol scored 17 points apiece for the Lakers, who fell behind early and never caught up to the tantalizing new contenders for their title.

James played a balanced, patient game, even after a technical foul near halftime for an under-the-basket scuffle with Lakers defensive stopper Ron Artest. James' teammates contributed enough to keep the Heat comfortably ahead, with Bosh playing an outstanding first half and Mario Chalmers contributing 13 points in a reserve role, including three 3-pointers.

Lamar Odom had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost two straight at home after winning five in a row on the road, following up Tuesday's collapse against Milwaukee with this high-profile flop.

Although Bryant wore garish green shoes for the holiday, his Lakers simply didn't raise their games to meet the spotlight that follows Miami, falling well behind in the first half and never making a run.

While the Heat realize Boston and Orlando are much more important obstacles to their championship hopes, and while the Lakers don't get terribly excited about playing anybody except the Celtics, there was a palpable edge in the crowd at Staples Center.

It turned into frustration as the Lakers mostly failed to match the Miami stars' big-game effort. Bryant, who picked up his third technical foul in two games, was visibly displeased with his teammates throughout the second half.

Coach Phil Jackson dislikes the Lakers' annual spot on the NBA's Christmas schedule, and perhaps for reasons beyond the season: Los Angeles dropped to 4-8 on Christmas since 1999, including last season's one-sided loss to James' Cleveland Cavaliers.

At least this year the Lakers didn't hand out giveaway foam hands, dozens of which were thrown onto the court late in last year's game.

Players on both teams broke out festive holiday sneakers for the occasion, including lime-green Nike kicks on Bryant, Gasol and Odom. James and Bosh wore holiday-red shoes with garish green laces.

Wade missed the Heat's win in Phoenix on Thursday night to rest his sore knee, and he wasn't yet 100 percent at Staples. He acknowledged the injury increased his fatigue, which seemed obvious in two missed dunks in the first half.

Yet Miami thrived with defense, holding both Bryant and Gasol without a field goal in the first quarter. The Heat pushed the lead to double digits early in the second quarter.

James got his T shortly afterward for shoving Artest under the basket with 10 seconds left in the first half after Artest nearly put James in a headlock while battling for rebounding position.

NOTES: The Lakers had won five straight home games against Miami, including last season's win on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer banked in over Wade's defense by Bryant, who called it the luckiest shot of his career. ... Artest dived into the Miami bench in the third quarter chasing his own turnover, nearly flattening Miami's Jamaal Magloire. ... Fans near courtside included Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, Larry David, Kanye West,, Gabrielle Union, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Piven, Christian Slater and Lionel Richie.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

52 Games left for the Lakers to re-discover their championship mojo. Kobe Bryant summed things up pretty well after the contest: "I'm not frustrated, just upset. I think these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us, and I think we need to get that straight. We need to play with more focus, and put more importance on these games. I don't like it. We know what we're capable of doing – that's the problem." Phil Jackson added a "Just be patient with us. We'll be fine."

52 Combined points (27), rebounds (11), assists (10) and steals (four) for LeBron James in a terrific all-around individual effort.

18 Points scored by L.A.'s bench. Shannon Brown had 10 of 'em, while Steve Blake struggled in missing all five of his shot attempts, all from three. Miami's didn't offer much more scoring, with 19, but the Heat's starters outscored L.A.'s 77-62.

4 Fastbreak points for the Heat, one of the few areas in which the Lakers did what they wanted to prior to the game.

1 Blocked shot for the Lakers, who came in averaging 5.7 per game. Part of the explanation is that Miami rarely took the ball to the rim, scoring only 26 points in the paint, and when they did were generally getting to the foul line (20 attempts).

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Points Bryant, Gasol 17
Rebounds Odom 9, 0 OFF 9 DEF
Assists Bryant7
Steals Fisher 2
Blocks Bynum 1


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on the game tonight:
"Disappointing finish to a game as hyped as that one was, but no surprise to us as a coaching staff. We're just not playing very good ball. We haven't won a quarter in about nine quarters now so we're not surprised how poorly we played."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on whether he believes his team is connected right now:
"We had some things where I think personalities overplayed what our team defense acquired. And so people got distracted…offensively I wasn't pleased at all with the game as far as ball movement and shot selection.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if his team is playing with a sense of urgency yet:
"I think that there's a point to that, but we're going through a season, and sometimes we hit a pretty good peak and sometimes we don't. I thought we played well a couple of weeks ago, I thought we played pretty well for a couple of games. We haven't been playing well but I give the Heat some credit, they helped manufacture this."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on Andrew Bynum's rehabilitation with his knee:
"Just reactions right now, conditioning is part of that. I think his reactive ability and reacting to the ball and the game is still an issue. He's one of the guys that could put the ball in the hoop."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on what he thinks Kobe Bryant is frustrated about right now:
"I don't know. I suppose he looks at the big picture, I'm sure it's about the team winning, the energy the team has…they're not confident, they're not playing offensively confident like they know what they're going to do collectively as a group. Those things, I think that's frustrating…"

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on being embarrassed by tonight's loss:
"It's not really about getting embarrassed, I don't get embarrassed. It's not about that. It's about winning, it's the competitiveness of winning the game. I don't like losing; I don't care what anybody thinks. I just don't like losing period."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the attitude of the team:

"Well I think individually you have to make that decision yourself, you know, what's important. The game has to be the most important thing. You have to focus on it, you have to play every game like it's your last, you have to be attentive to what's going on. This is serious stuff, you don't just have two rings and say ok we're satisfied with what we've got. I'm not rolling with that, I'm not going to let that slide. We need to get into gear."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on what has happened in the last two games:
"I think these games mean more to our opponents then they do to us. We need to get that straight, we need to play with more focus, put more importance on these games. I don't like it."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the remainder of the season:
"I mean the second half isn't going to be easy. This type of situation is always tough, but if it was easy to win another three-peat you'd see a lot of teams being able to do it in the past. That's why so few teams have been able to do it. If we want to be one of them we need to get our butts in gear."

Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on what his team needs to do moving forward:
"We have to make sure we come out with more stops. For the most part we played pretty solid defensively. We had a couple breakdowns that forced them into outside shots, and they made a lot of them. Defensively we have to figure out how to be more effective and efficient out there."

Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on what he felt after today's game:
"It's disappointing. We have to go back and figure things out, look ourselves in the mirror, understand what's going on, and fix it."

Lakers' forward Pau Gasol on his team's efforts:
"I would like to think it is more head than heart. I think that the will is there. Things are just not going down the way we would have liked it at this point."

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on today's game:
"A loss is a loss for us. This is a day that we want to play well on, but a loss is a loss. Of course we gave them a shot of confidence just in case they have to come back through here. But we'll learn from it."

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on how he measures his team's success:
"I don't think we look at just one game. We look at a number of games, how we're playing and what we're doing is how we gauge our success."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the Heat's identity and rhythm:
"Tonight a lot of people contributed. The most important thing, I think we really got to our identity, defending and disrupting as much as we could. It got us into a rhythm offensively even though we only had 4 fast break points a lot of our opportunities were in early offense and our confidence just seemed to grow when we were able to get consecutive stops and rebound the basketball."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the Heat's complete effort:
"This is a very good, excellent rebounding team, so it took a real effort, group effort to try to control the glass as much as possible. Offensively, this is the most trust and the most poise that we've played this season in one game for really a 48 minute game."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the Heat's recent success:
"We tried to be as active and athletic as we could be but a lot of these habits we've been starting to build now the last 3 or 4 weeks. We've been much more consistent with our defense and understanding that that's our identity."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on if the team follows media coverage:
"I mean you can get whiplash if you really follow all of you guys and your opinions from game to game and so we're not concerned, with all due respect, with what you guys are commenting or writing about. It's really just about us in the locker room and getting to our game."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the Heat's growth:
"We still have improvement to go. I mean we had a tough loss against Dallas the other night and we're building our identity but we're also building continuity."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the Heat's early season "adversity":
"I think the adversity that we faced early on in the year that helped. We've been able to be a little more consistent but also connect a little bit better as a group then maybe we would've if didn't have to go through that."

Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra on the "Big 3":
"There's no question that they carry a heavy load but the balance, and the poise, and the trust that we've been trying to build is to create a game where we use their talent to make the game easier for the team, but also for each other. That is a tough balance where they can be who they've been for years and been so successful with that and yet strike a balance to have a trust and move the ball. Again, I think tonight was probably our best game in terms of that."

Heat forward Chris Bosh on the Heat's performance:
"I think played a good complete game. You know, we made it tough on them. We rebounded the basketball, we took good shots, and you know, we don't pay much attention to the score we're just happy to win the game and now it's on to the next one."

Heat forward Chris Bosh on the Heat's identity:
"I think our whole thing is just playing solid defense the whole game. That's the primary part of our identity and then as far as offense is concerned you know we just want to put our system in, continue to move the ball until we find out what works, but our backbone right now is our defense. That helps us put pressure on the other team by getting out in the open court and, you know, that's our advantage. You know, we know what we're good at. We just try to take advantage of it."

Heat forward Chris Bosh on finding his rhythm today:
"I know at any time the jumper is going to be open and most of the times after you attack a few times you're in better rhythm. I don't know why but you take it to the basket maybe get some free throws, you see the ball go in, you know, get more high percentage shots. Then when I do get that 15-19 footer I'm in more of a rhythm and I have more confidence and they go in most of the times."

Heat forward Chris Bosh on defending Kobe Bryant:
"We have to give credit to our perimeters. Everybody did a pretty decent job on him. We just wanted to stay between him and the basket. You know, he's the best scorer in the league. He has so much you can't take everything away from him, but at the end of the day if he makes shots over your hand I mean there's not much you can do."

Heat forward Chris Bosh on defending Pau Gasol:

"We didn't want him to be comfortable we wanted him really to fight him off the post a little bit and then when he did get it we wanted to give him a bunch of different looks. We didn't really double too much but we just wanted to make him pick it up make him think about it."

Heat guard Dwyane Wade on Coach Spoelstra's comments regarding "playing Miami Heat basketball":
"The concepts of Miami basketball are about, first of all, defense. It's about our system and helping each other out. It's not a one-on-one defensive system, it's five guys all being on one string at one time together. That's what we did tonight."

Heat guard Dwyane Wade on if the "Big Three" are gaining confidence, scoring-wise:
"That's the purpose of us three to come together playing, to have that dynamic…to continue to keep throwing different things at guys while we have different lineups. You never see too many times where me, Chris and LeBron are on the floor. At least one of us is out or two of us. That's the reason that we all came together to have that dynamic to always put pressure on the defense and never give them an opportunity to rest."

Heat guard Dwyane Wade on the emergence of Chris Bosh offensively:

"He's comfortable. I think people don't really understand that for all three of us, it was a difficult adjustment to make than what we're used to. We're used to taking 20 plus shots a game and getting your rhythm that way, but now you have to find your niche. Chris has found his niche."

Heat forward LeBron James on his banter with Kobe Bryant during the game:
"We're just two competitors, two guys just trying to will their team to victory. I was blessed that our team was able to come away with a victory."

Heat forward LeBron James on holding the Lakers to 14 points in the first quarter:
"Like [Dwyane Wade] said, that's Miami Heat basketball. We just try to go out and defend because we know that's going to give us the best chance to win. We want to defend and we let everything else just fall where it may. When we're in tune like that defensively…we're a pretty good team."

Heat forward LeBron James on if today was a statement game:

"I don't think so. We're not trying to make a statement to anyone. We're trying to continue to show each other that we can play at a high level and try to get better every game. This is one game. The Lakers have another game soon and we have another game soon, and we want to continue to get better…We're happy because we got better today and we didn't take a step backwards."


By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Kobe Bryant and Lakers coach Phil Jackson haven't really checked out the Miami Heat much this season. They've caught late-night highlights and maybe logged a few minutes with a game from the opposite coast, but not a whole lot more.

It's finally time for the two-time champions to get an up-close look at their most intriguing challengers.

When LeBron James, Chris Bosh and—maybe—Dwyane Wade take on the Lakers in the NBA's Christmas showcase Saturday, most players in both uniforms hesitate to pile any extra significance onto a television-manufactured event. Most minimize every aspect of it, saying it's no more than a holiday amusement for fans seeking a break from present-opening and eggnog-drinking.

"I don't think it's a measuring stick for us," James said. "It's just another game."

Yet competitiveness usually trumps Christmas for elite NBA players. Just ask Bryant—or don't, since he tellingly hasn't spoken to the media since getting ejected from the Lakers' last game.

Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher concede both teams are anticipating the marquee matchup as a chance to gauge their readiness for bigger games in the months to come. And if they eventually face each other in June for the biggest prize of all, even better.

"The personalities that are going to be matching up in this game, I don't know if it can get any bigger," said Fisher, the Lakers point guard who entertained free-agent interest from Miami last summer. "Although there will be other games in this regular season that can mean more, from a personality standpoint and a star power point, I don't know if it can get any bigger."

Fisher believes the NBA's impressive television ratings and overall increased spotlight this season can be traced largely to these two franchises and the Boston Celtics. All three boast oversized personalities, compelling team dynamics and remarkable success this season, but the Lakers haven't yet played either opponent.

In fact, the Lakers have monitored the Heat's development with interest more suited to casual fans than potential rivals—something that might change Saturday.

"The dynamic players that they have, as a fan of a game, it makes it easy to watch," Los Angeles forward Lamar Odom said.

The NBA has waited seven years for a playoff matchup between Bryant and James. James' Cavaliers beat the Lakers on Christmas last year in a game punctuated by dozens of foam hands thrown onto the Staples Center court by frustrated fans, but Cleveland couldn't get out of the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, leading to James' departure.

"I was in Cleveland and we beat the two-time champs twice in one season, and it didn't get me anything," James said. "It's one game, guys. The media guys hype it up, but when that time is over and done with, we've got to move on to the next one."

Wade might miss the game with a sore knee, although Jackson expects him to play. Wade's absence didn't slow down the Heat on Thursday night during their win at Phoenix, with James scoring 36 points.

While the Heat have been outstanding lately, the Lakers' 21-8 record isn't terribly impressive considering it came against the NBA's easiest schedule to date. Los Angeles even flopped in its warmup for Miami, losing by 19 points at home to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

"I thought their comeuppance might come against Miami, but Milwaukee delivered the blow," Jackson said. "So maybe it got their attention so they can get focused on basketball."

Jackson has participated in more than 20 Christmas showcase games dating to his playing career with the New York Knicks.

The 11-time champion coach ranks this meeting with Miami on par with Shaquille O'Neal's return to Los Angeles with the Heat on Christmas 2004, even though he was on a one-year sabbatical from the Lakers at the time, but he doesn't anticipate the same excitement and vigor he felt from Christmas 2008, when the Lakers snapped the defending champion Celtics' 19-game winning streak at Staples.

"This one measures up to that," Jackson said. "I don't think it surpasses that."

AP Sports Writers John Marshall in Phoenix and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited

Lakers Kobe Bryant (sprained pinkie finger, right hand) will play.
Andrew Bynum
(right knee surgery) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is out.

Mavs Udonis Haslem (left foot injury) is out.

12/25 - MIA @ LAL
03/10 - LAL @ MIA

Thursday night's 95-83 win in Phoenix was the Heat's 13th win in their last 14 games. They are red hot and it appears that their early season problems are gone. Miami's defense has been the foundation for their recent success. They have not allowed an opponent to score 100+ points since Dallas scored 106 on 11/27. In their 12 game win streak the 3 areas that showed the greatest improvement were defense, rebounding (especially offensive rebounding), and transition points. During the win streak they averaged 101 points per game, shooting 50% from the field, averaged 46.6 rebounds per game and scored 17.7 points off turnovers. It will be crucial that we are able to defend without fouling. James and Wade rank 2nd and 3rd respectively in free throw attempts. We need to contain the ball, stay down, and stay in front of our men. The Miami bench doesn't give them much offensively (and we need to keep it that way) but they are all good defenders who are willing to work. This fact may change as Mike Miller is now playing after missing the start of the season with an injury.

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The Lakers split last season's series with Miami 1-1, defeating the Heat in their first meeting (12/4/09) on a Kobe Bryant one-foot, running, bank-shot three-point field goal from the top, left side of the arc at the buzzer but dropping the second meeting 111-114 in overtime at Miami (3/4/10). This will be the 45th meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding a 29-15 all-time lead. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 meetings with the Heat. In Los Angeles, the Lakers have gone 7-1 in their last eight home games against Miami and are 8-3 all-time against the Heat at STAPLES Center. In Miami, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Under head coach Phil Jackson, Los Angeles is 13-7 versus Miami. Lakers forward Lamar Odom played one season for the Heat, averaging 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in 80 games. Following that season, Odom was acquired from the Heat by the Lakers along with Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a future first round draft pick in exchange for Shaquille O'Neal. In 25 games including 21 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.9 points against Miami and holds the high individual game for the series with 42 points on Christmas Day against the Heat in 2004. Miami's Dwyane Wade and LeBron James played alongside Kobe Bryant on the gold medal winning US Men's Olympic Basketball Team at the 2008 Summer Olympics inBeijing.

In 14 career games against the Lakers, James is averaging27.9pointsper game (390) with his team posting an 8-6 record in those contests. Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo played four seasons with the Lakers from 1981-85, helping Los Angeles to two NBA Championships (1982, 1985) while averaging 12.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in the regular season and 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 61 postseason games. Heat President Pat Riley won four NBA Championships as head coach of the Lakers, posting a regular season record of 533-194 (.733) and a 102-47 (.685) postseason mark in nine seasons with the team.

In 1947, the NBA played its first games on Christmas Day (3 total) and through 2009, the league has seen a total of 207 Christmas Day games in all. The Lakers relationship with Christmas Day games dates back to 1949 and the team's second season in the NBA. On December 25, 1949, the Lakers hosted Ft. Wayne, defeating the Pistons 72-58 in the team's first ever Christmas day game. Now in their 63rd NBA season, the Lakers have played on Christmas Day 36 times, second only to the New York Knicks (45), going 20-16 in those games. With 20 victories, the Lakers are tied with New York for most Christmas Day victories by a team in league history. Overall, the Lakers are 11-7 all-time when home for the holidays while going 8-8 in away games (1-1 in neutral court games).

This will be the Lakers 12th straight Christmas Day game dating back to 1999, with Los Angeles going 4-7 in that span. It will also be the Lakers 4th Christmas Day game against the Heat. The Lakers are 0-3 against Miami in their previous three Christmas Day meetings, losing 102-104 in overtime 12/24/04 vs. Miami, 92-97 12/25/05 at Miami and 85-101 12/25/06 at Miami. Among Christmas Day opponents, only Phoenix (6), Detroit (5) and Boston (4) have faced the Lakers as many times as the Heat.

This Christmas, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal will each be playing their record-tying 13th game on December 25th, equaling the mark held by Dolph Schayes and Earl Monroe. Additionally, Phil Jackson suited up for 10 Christmas Day games as a player and has coached in 17 more (7-0 Chicago, 4-6 LA Lakers). Bryant (304) ranks 2nd all-time in Christmas Day points scored behind Oscar Robertson (377). Additionally, Bryant ranks 4th in assists (68) on Christmas Day behind Robertson (145), Guy Rodgers (71) and Walt Frazier (69).

On December 16th, the NBA announced its FIRST returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting with Kobe Bryant (722,682) LEADING all players in All-Star voting, ahead of Orlando's Dwight Howard (611,561) and Miami's LeBron James (607,994). Pau Gasol (390,808), who made his third All-Star team last season as a reserve, ranks 2nd among forwards in the West behind Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (470,881). Andrew Bynum (198,044) ranks 2nd among West centers behind Houston's Yao Ming (430,984), while New Orleans' Chris Paul (386,649) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the East, James and Boston's Kevin Garnett (456,111) lead the forward voting, Miami's Dwyane Wade (570,489) and Boston's Rajon Rondo (497,141) are the top two vote-getters at guard and Howard leads all East centers in balloting.
In each of the last three seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant received 2,456,224 votes, finishing second overall to Cleveland's LeBron James (2,549,693). In 2008-09, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and James (2,940,823). In 2007-08, Bryant garnered 2,004,940 votes to finish fourth in overall voting behind Kevin Garnett (2,399,148), James (2,108,831) and Howard (2,066,991). In 2006-07, when he earned his second All-Star MVP, Bryant finished third overall in balloting behind James and Yao Ming. A three-time All-Star MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix), Bryant is a 12-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing last year's contest due to a sprained left ankle. Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, led all players in NBA All-Star balloting in 2003. Gasol has made three All-Star appearances (2006, 2009, 2010) and in 2009, became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team.

Last 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 (26,535): Karl Malone (1st/36,374) and Michael Jordan (2nd/29,277). This season, Bryant has moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,511) for 3rd on this list (12/19 at Toronto) and John Havlicek (26,395) for 4th (12/10 at Chicago).

With their 109-94 victory in Indiana on December 15th, the Lakers recorded their FIFTH 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), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM) and Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS). 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).

With 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), Kobe Bryant passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.7 ppg), Bryant (26,535) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant 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).

In their second game of a back-to-back set with the Wizards and Pacers, Kobe Bryant scored 31 points in a 109-94 victory at Indiana. Bryant's average of 29.0 ppg in the second game of back-to-back sets is the highest in the NBA this season. The Lakers have played five sets of back-to-back sets on the year, with Bryant scoring 30 points 11/3 @ Sacramento, 33 points 11/17 @ Detroit, 27 points 12/1 @ Houston, 24 points 12/8 @ LA Clippers and 31 points 12/15 @ Indiana (all 2nd of back-to-back games).*

This season, the Lakers are 4-1 in the first game and 4-1 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.

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.

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