GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 18 26 18 20 82
Play by Play San Antonio Spurs 27 15 29 26 97

NBA-best Spurs rout Bryant and reeling Lakers


SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker scored 23 points and the San Antonio Spurs, backing up their NBA-best record against the defending champions, beat Kobe Bryant and the reeling Los Angeles Lakers 97-82 on Tuesday night.

DeJuan Blair had 17 points and 15 rebounds, leading an unlikely Spurs cast that handed the Lakers their third straight loss while Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili muddled through a dreadful game.

Bryant finished with 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting. He missed 13 in a row at one point, and might be fuming again after railing on his team following a Christmas Day loss to Miami.

The Spurs improved to 27-4, among the best starts in NBA history. The Lakers dropped to 21-10, marking the first time since 2007 they've reached 10 losses this early.

Richard Jefferson scored 17 points and George Hill had 10. The Spurs coasted in the fourth quarter, almost remarkably, while Duncan and Ginobili were reduced to non-factors.

Duncan was 1 of 7 from the field and had two points. Ginobili made only 3 of 12, finishing with nine points.

But winning despite a bad night from two-thirds of their championship core may be reassuring as the Spurs begin their toughest stretch of the season.

San Antonio goes next to Dallas, where the Spurs will try to avenge one of their four losses. That's followed by Oklahoma City, New York and Boston. All have winning records.

Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum had 10 points apiece for the Lakers. When the buzzer sounded, Bryant was the first off the bench and headed back to the locker room to mull over another embarrassment.

It was another humiliation for the Lakers, who lost a week ago by 19 at home to lowly Milwaukee. That was followed by letting LeBron James and the Heat leave the Staples Center with another easy victory on Christmas, in one of the highest-rated televised NBA games in recent years.

It's only December, but Bryant hasn't treated the slump as a mere blip.

After James and Dwyane Wade coasted to a 14-point win in Los Angeles on Sunday, Bryant seethed over a second straight home loss. He said it was as though the games "mean more to our opponents than they do us" and grumbled over the focus of the two-time defending champs.

Bryant came out like he was trying to set an example. He scored eight of the Lakers' first 10 points - all within the first 3 minutes - and attempted 10 shots in the first quarter alone.

Covered by Hill in the second quarter, Bryant drew his third technical foul in three games when the two confronted each other under the basket. They continued talking back to the other end of the court.

"I just wanted him to know that you might be an NBA All-Star and the MVP, but I won't back down from anybody," Hill said.

For all that intensity, Bryant had a miserable night.

After making four of his first five shots, Bryant missed 13 shots in a row and turned the ball over four times. The slump finally ended with 4:44 left in the third quarter on a wide-open 3-pointer.

The Spurs' stars weren't faring any better. But they had help.

Duncan and Ginobili were a combined 1 for 13 in the first half, with the Argentine clanking four 3-pointers and Duncan unable to finish near the rim against Pau Gasol.

Notes: It was a rare sellout at the AT&T Center, which has seldom been packed this season despite the historic franchise start for the Spurs. ... Sixteen other teams in NBA history had as good or better record as the Spurs through 31 games, most recently the 2007-08 Boston Celtics (28-3).

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

38 Lakers points in the second half, including zero from Pau Gasol.

29 Kobe Bryant’s shooting percentage. He nailed his first three shots, then missed all but five of his next 24 shots, for his 21 points.

22 Minutes for Andrew Bynum, his most of the season. The 23-year-old 7-footer made all four of his field goals en route to 10 points with seven rebounds and a block, but missed all but two of his eight free throw attempts. Nonetheless, it was the best he has looked so far this seaosn.

16 Turnovers for the Lakers.

15 Assists for the Lakers.

View More Photos

Points Bryant 21 8-27 FG
Rebounds Brown 4 OFF 7 DEF 11
Assists Gasol 5
Steals Artest, Fisher 2
Blocks Gasol 3


Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson

(On what changed between the 1st half and 2nd half)
“We had a lot of shots but we missed them. Ron had some three’s and Kobe didn’t seem to get his shot down in the third quarter. Pau had one shot as I can’t remember any others he had in the third quarter. We just didn’t get any shots down as their defense activated. We had some turnovers as they ran off, scored, which got them excited. Blair also got some tip-ins around the basket.”

(On what did you think of Kobe tonight)
“I liked his energy to come out and set a tone. I thought in the 4th quarter he had a chance to get himself going again in the quarter, even though in 3rd quarter nothing seemed to go right for him.”

(On if he likes the idea of Kobe taking all of those shots in the start of the game)
“Well he came out with a purpose and established something. He took the first seven shots, six shots; made the first four, as then it was time to slow it down a bit and get everybody involved.”

(On why he thinks Pau wasn’t able to get involved as much)
“I think anytime you have Kobe taking the number of shots he had and pressing it a little bit will make Pau get out of the offense because of that.”

(On if Pau Gasol can demand the ball more) 
“Even though I thought they fronted, they knocked the ball away, tipping the ball out. You know there were some things he didn’t do right, as he made some passes I thought he shouldn’t of made. He didn’t have a big game.”

(On if he has thought of telling Kobe maybe not to play so mad)
“No, he can do that. He is a willful guy and he can play with that energy. That’s one of the few guys that can do that in this league.”

(On after the last two losses, what do you take away from this game)
“I liked our plan, I thought we had a good plan going into this game. I just didn’t like the ability of the team to fulfill it and to stay with the ideas we had for the game. It was really bad defense, getting back and stopping the transition, and making them take shots that were tougher shots. We let them start looking at three’s the second half, and they knocked them down.”

Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant

(On his shots tonight)
“I got good looks, I just didn’t make them.”

(On the team effort versus the last couple games)
“The effort was there. It was much better. I couldn’t put the ball in the basket and it snowballed from there. It’s my responsibility to make them. I had some really good looks. I gotta put those down, period.”

(On trying to throttle back and get others involved in the game)
“You try to, but I had some easy looks that typically go down and they didn’t [tonight]. We weren’t able to get back in the game. Things just kinda fed off of me not being able to make shots and everybody else started not being able to make shots…missing free throws and layups and stuff like that. I just gotta put the ball in the damn hole. It’s my responsibility. It’s my job and I gotta do it.”

(On his extra intensity possibly throwing him off tonight)
“Not at all. That’s how you win championships. It’s about attitude and you just have to stick with it. It’ll be fine, we just gotta stick with it.”

(On playing mad again tomorrow)
“I’ve been playing mad as long as you’ve been writing mad.”

(On their technical fouls)
“We’re all just a little moddy, that’s all. Fish picked up a technical tonight and he’s the basketball equivalent of Barrack Obama. Everybody’s a little moody right now.”

Lakers Center Pau Gasol

(On the difference in the second half)
“We didn’t set the tone early like we did in the first quarter. We did a really good job of setting the tone and establishing the level of intensity that we wanted to play with early on, and we didn’t do it in the second half. They got going and had a really good quarter.”

(On exploiting the size advantage tonight)
“I don’t think we played the smartest game. Let’s put it that way. I don’t think we attacked smart out there. We have to recognize what’s going on and understand our strengths against certain opponents and try to exploit them.”

(On their three double-digit losses in a row)
“Whatever needs to be fixed, we have to do it all together. We don’t need individual effort from anybody. We have to be all together like a family.”

(On getting away from the post game in the third)
“I don’t think it was a conscious decision. We just did. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been smart to go away from something that was getting us to the line and adding fouls to them. It gets our offense going also because it gets us penetration. At one point we stopped moving the ball and had a lot of turnovers, and they took advantage of it.”

(On their sense of worry)
“I’m not worried; I’m just upset. I’m upset that we are not playing right. With the weapons we have on this team, it’s tough to come out of these games like we have. Everybody can have a bad game, but three consecutive losses, the way we’ve lost, it shouldn’t happen with this team. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and understand what’s going on. What are we willing to do to change it?”

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On if that was the sort of defense the Spurs need to play in order to compete)
“You hit the nail on the head.  That was the most important part of the night for us.  We played excellent team defense, and that’s where we’ve been lacking.  It really made a big difference tonight against a very good basketball team.  So, we were very pleased with the team defense and that’s what we have to take forward.”

(On being pleased with the defense on Kobe Bryant by George Hill and Manu Ginobili)
“They played him pretty wisely and they did a good job. But without the team defense behind it, they would of have had a lot tougher time.  I’m going to credit the team with that.”

(On DeJuan Blair tonight)
“DeJuan (Blair) was fantastic tonight on both ends of the court.  I thought he showed a lot of poise and got some offensive boards and kicked it back out, as he should in certain situations.  I think he’s looking more mature all the time.”

(On George Hill tonight)
“Well George Hill is basically our first sub most nights, he’s important to our depth.   Because he’s not only the back-up point guard, he plays good defense on top of good offense.  He’s very valuable to us.  He looks like he’s back in the groove and whatever little rust he may have acclimated is certainly gone.”

(On if DeJuan Blair is learning any tricks that can get him over on others)
“They’re not really tricks; they’re basics of defensive basketball.  He’s learning about different arrangements, doing his work early and understanding who he’s guarding, his position on the court.  He’s becoming a little more efficient as far as fundamentals are concerned.”

(On Gary Neal tonight)
“He knows what his skills are and he understands that if he’s open and doesn’t shoot it he’ll get no minutes.  So, he knows he has to keep on plugging.”

(On what it says about the Spurs depth when the Spurs can win so easily with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili scoring only 11 combined for the night)
“It means that Tony Parker was amazing tonight.  DeJuan Blair did a fantastic job, but Tony Parker put us on his shoulders for a lot of the game.  We played good defense to go a long with it, so we were able to hang in there even though Manu and Timmy didn’t have their best offensive night.”

Spurs Guard Tony Parker

(On his approach to the game)
“I tried to push the tempo and play faster because every time L.A. last year and when the put the defense half court, we had a hard time scoring.  So I tried to get the pace a little bit faster and get easy shots.  We got a ton of threes today.  If we shot 30%, it would be a big win.  It’s still a big win and we made big shots in the fourth quarter.”

(On if he tried to push the pace because of the big players the Lakers have)
“Yeah, definitely.  When the defense is set in the half court, it’s tough because they’re big and everybody’s in the paint so it’s tough to get some easy shots.  I was trying to push the ball, be aggressive and make stuff happen.”

(On winning with Manu Ginobili scoring nine points and Tim Duncan scoring two points)
“We have a lot of guys playing well.  George Hill played great, Gary Neal made some big baskets, DeJuan Blair was unbelievable.  Our bench is playing well this year.”

(On DeJuan Blair)
“He played great, he was unbelievable.  A lot of time, people think he’s too small, but he does so much other stuff.  He plays with a lot of heart and does all the little stuff.  Rebounding-wise, he was a monster tonight.”

(On the team defense tonight)
“Our team defense was great tonight, maybe our best game tonight.  We held them to 80 or 82, it was our best defense by far.  We need to take the game as an example and try to build on it.”

Spurs Guard Manu Ginobili

(On the team defense tonight)
“Of course, it was a great job.  We held them under 40%, I don’t know how many points they scored, but it was one of the best defensive efforts we’ve had.  It’s not easy to contain Kobe.  We made him take tough twos, that was one of the goals, and we didn’t foul him as much.  Also, we contained the bigs pretty well.  Pau [Gasol] is having a great season and he didn’t have a good game today, so it was a great overall performance.”

(On if they were able to disrupt Kobe Bryant with the steals)
“When the game started, I thought it was going to be a long night.  He made the first four and they were pretty tough shots, but then I could bother him a little more on the catch.  Kobe is not on one-on-one defense ever.  You need the team to be there contesting and crowding the paint, so we did a great job in that regard.”

(On if this validates anything beating the two-time defending champion)
“It’s always great to beat the champion.  You know that when you win the championship, you get a big target on your chest and everybody goes hard against you.  It’s not easy to do, they have a lot of talent, they play hard, and they have size.  Every time you attack the rim, you have a lot of players there, so it was very important for us to kick it right.  It’s not easy to beat them.  We played great defensively and it’s a great feeling.”

(On DeJuan Blair)
“He was huge.  Sometimes we think that against teams like them, where they have seven-footers and a lot of size, he may struggle.  But somehow, he finds a way, he gets those boards, and finds a way to finish at the rim.  He’s got that kind of ability that’s not easy to find.  For a 6-6, 6-7 guy, it was amazing.  He was a big factor today.”

(On winning with Manu Ginobili scoring nine points and Tim Duncan scoring two points)
“I was just talking about that in the showers.  We went 4-for-20 between Tim and me.  First half, two points between us.  We were sticking around, we were still there, so we knew we had a big shot at winning it.  Not that the second half changed that much, but defensively we were there and Tony was great and we made a couple shots that changed the game.”

Spurs Forward/Center DeJuan Blair

(On being physical against the Lakers bigs)
“Going up and just going against them and saying I’m going to get this rebound or I’m going to shoot this ball and not thinking.  Tim and McDyess have been in my head and said to not think and just play basketball.  That’s what I did tonight and I had an excellent game.”

(On George Hill and Kobe Bryant getting into it earlier)
That’s always a sign, but if that didn’t happen we still weren’t going to back down.  It was just a wonderful booster to us and the fans.  The fans were excellent tonight being in the game.  It was just a hard tough hard-fought win and who would’ve known that our two best players didn’t have the best game and we’re up 15 at the end of the game.  That tells a lot.  That says a lot about our youth and our ability to play and step up when the best isn’t playing.”

(On if the team made a statement tonight)
“I hope we did, but we still have to play them a lot more times.  We just have to keep playing and getting better every day.  Every day counts from here on out.  It’s still the beginning of the season.  27-4 is an excellent record but there’s a lot more we can improve in and once we get that down pact on defense and once our offense starts flowing like we really want it to, the sky’s the limit.”



As unhappy as Kobe Bryant sounded on Christmas, he might have a tough time feeling much better after this game.

Coming off a pair of embarrassing losses, the Los Angeles Lakers visit the league-best San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night for the first time this season.

While no team has a better record than the Spurs (26-4), who already had 11 losses by this point last season, the Lakers (21-9) are off to a disappointing start. They opened 23-4 last season en route to the best record in the Western Conference and a second straight championship, but now they're at risk of losing 10 games by the end of December for the first time since 2007.

Los Angeles followed a 98-79 home loss to a sub-.500 Milwaukee team with a 96-80 defeat to Miami in a Christmas matchup that didn't live up to the hype. The Lakers were held to 14 points in the first quarter and trailed by double digits for most of the second half.

"It's like these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us," said Bryant, held to 17 points. "I think we need to get that straight - play with more focus, put more (emphasis) on these games. I don't like it. … We know what we're capable of doing, and that's part of the problem."

Bryant, averaging 16.8 points over the past four games, stressed the team must do a better job of working out its problems in practice - something the Lakers tried to accomplish during two days off between the Heat game and this one.

"Individually, you have to make that decision on what's important," Bryant said. "The game has to be the most important thing. … This is serious stuff. You don't just have two rings and say, 'That's enough. We're satisfied with what we've got.' I'm not going to let that slide."

The Spurs couldn't help but look ahead to this matchup even before their most recent game, a 94-80 win over Washington on Sunday.

"We talked about it this morning at shootaround; make sure we respect them and that we use this game to prepare for the Lakers," point guard Tony Parker said. "We have a big game against them, obviously, and we're going to have to match their energy. I'm sure they're going to come in and look to bounce back from their loss against Miami."

San Antonio, which had a 10-game win streak snapped in its previous game at Orlando, has won 10 in a row at home but faces a Lakers team which has won five straight road games.

The teams split four meetings last season, with Bryant appearing in three and averaging 20.7 points - his fourth-worst mark against any opponent.

The bigger key to the series was the Tim Duncan-Lamar Odom matchup. Each veteran forward reached double digits in rebounds in every meeting, but Duncan outscored Odom on average 24.5 to 9.5 in the Spurs' two wins while Odom had a 17.5-11.0 edge in the Lakers' two victories.

Duncan has been playing limited minutes lately, averaging 8.7 points in the last three games. Odom has averaged 12.3 in his last three after scoring 19.1 per game through his first nine in December.

Odom has missed 17 of his last 20 3-point attempts, and the Lakers are shooting 27.3 percent from beyond the arc in their last four games.

"We have to go back and figure things out," Odom said after the Miami loss, "look ourselves in the mirror, understand what's going on, and fix it."

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.

James Anderson (stress fracture in right fifth metatarsal) is out.

12/28 - LAL @ SAS
02/03 - SAS @ LAL
03/06 - LAL @ SAS
04/12 - SAS @ LAL

The San Antonio Spurs bring the best record in the NBA into tonight's game. They are 26-4 overall and 17-2 at home. This has surprised some casual observers of the league but not people inside the NBA. What has surprised people is the way the Spurs have achieved the top record so far. Historically, the Spurs in the Coach Pop and Tim Duncan era have been one of the best defensive teams year in and year out. This season the Spurs are putting up offensive numbers that put them among the league's best. They are the top 3 point shooting team (40.8%), 3rd in assists (24.1), 4th in points per game (106.2), and 4th in field goal percentage (47.3%). They have been able to put up the top record in the league thus far with Tim Duncan only playing 29 minutes a game (vs. a career mark of 36 minutes per game). The focus of this team – especially in the first three quarters of the game – is their early offensive flow game featuring Parker, Ginobili, and Jefferson.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers split last season's series with San Antonio 2-2 after taking the 2008-09 series from the Spurs 2-1. In their last 10 overall games, the Lakers are 6-4 against the Spurs. At home, the Lakers are 4-1 in their last five meetings with San Antonio but just 5-5 in their last 10 games against the Spurs in Los Angeles. Overall, the Lakers are 10-11 all-time against the Spurs at STAPLES Center. In San Antonio, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 meetings with the Spurs. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 18-20 against San Antonio in the regular season. In the postseason, Jackson is 15-7 against the Spurs, advancing to the next round in four of five series meetings. Jackson (11) and Popovich (4) are the only two active coaches to have won multiple NBA Championships. In 48 career games including 43 starts against San Antonio, Bryant is averaging 24.5 points per game. On February 8, 2010, Pau Gasol helped defeat the Spurs with 21 points, 19 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 blocks, marking just the seventh time a player has accomplished that feat in league history. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili played for Argentina in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but suffered a foot injury in their August 22 meeting with Kobe Bryant's United States team that forced him to miss the first 12 games of the 2008- 09 regular season with San Antonio. Bryant scored 12 points as the U.S. defeated defending champion Argentina 101-81 to advance to the gold medal game while Ginobili played just six minutes due to injury. Additionally, Luke Walton and Spurs forward Richard Jefferson were roommates at the University of Arizona while playing three years together for the Wildcats. Spurs guard/forward Ime Udoka broke into the NBA with the Lakers during the 2003-04 season, posting eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes over four total games.

On Christmas Day, the Lakers lost by 16 points to the Heat. In their previous game on December 21st, they lost by 19 points to the Bucks. With both losses coming at home, it is only the third time in franchise history that the Lakers have lost back-to-back home games by at least 16 points. The team was in Minneapolis the previous two times this happened, once in January 1959 and once in November/December 1959. In both cases, the Lakers played at least one road game in between the losses.*

Prior to their recent two-game skid, the Lakers completed a 7-game mid-December road-trip with a 6-1 mark, winning the last five straight. If able to win back-to-back road games at San Antonio and New Orleans, the Lakers would extend their road win-streak to seven consecutive, equaling the 5th longest road win streak in franchise history.

Tuesday's game at San Antonio is the first of a back-to-back set with the Spurs and Hornets. 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.

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 (26,552): 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 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 (25.4 ppg), Bryant (26,552) 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).

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).

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).*

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.

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).*

Entering the Lakers game at San Antonio, Derek Fisher has played in 443 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 321 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.

Pick n Roll

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