SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers and Mavericks split last season's series 2-2 after the Lakers swept the 2008-09 seasons series with Dallas 3-0. The Lakers last lost a season series to Dallas in 2006-07 (1-3), their first series loss to the Mavericks since the 1986-87 season and only the third time ever (1983-84). This will be the 126th overall meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding a 95-30 series advantage. In their first meeting last season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for just the 11th time at home against the Mavericks, ending a 6-game win streak against Dallas as well as a four game home win streak against the Mavs. In their most recent home meeting (1/3/10) at STAPLES Center, the Lakers established a new series record for margin of victory over Dallas, defeating the Mavericks by 35 (131-96), surpassing the old 33- point margin of victory established 12/1/93 (124-91). Overall, the Lakers are 8-2 against the Mavericks in their last 10 games. In Dallas, the Lakers have gone 5-5 over their last 10 games at American Airlines Center. The Lakers are 17-4 all-time against the Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 7-3 in their last 10 home games overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 26-12 against the Mavericks. In their first meeting of the 2008-09 season, Jason Kidd posted his 101st career triple-double and his fourth ever against the Lakers. In December of 2005, Kobe Bryant established a new series record with 62 points against the Mavericks in a 112-90 victory at STAPLES Center. In that contest, Bryant single-handedly outscored the Mavericks 62-61 through three quarters. In 2007-08, Bryant again went over the 50-point mark against the Mavericks, scoring 52 points in the Lakers 108-104 overtime victory March 2 at STAPLES Center. In 47 games (41 starts), Bryant is averaging 24.8 points for his career against Dallas.
GASOL 14 POINTS SHY OF 13,000 FOR HIS CAREER
With 21 points in the Lakers victory over Oklahoma City on January 17th, Pau Gasol (12,986) moved to within 14 points of 13,000 for his career. Among players who debuted since 1973-74 (first season of blocked shots), Gasol, who has now played in 692 regular season games, is in line to become the 6th fastest player in terms of games to record 13,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. Only Chris Webber (587), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (605), Tim Duncan (640), Kevin Garnett (657) and David Robinson (672) will have reached those totals faster than Gasol. Shaquille O'Neal is currently the 6th fastest to do so, reaching those totals in 705 games.
30 WINS AT THE MID-POINT
With a 100-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets on January 14th, the Lakers improved to 30-11 on the season, marking the third consecutive year that they have reached the mid-point of their season with 30 or more wins. Last season, the Lakers held a 32-9 record at the halfway point after starting the 2008-09 season with a 33-8 mark. Over the past 10 seasons, the Sacramento Kings from 2001-04 are the only other NBA team to hit the mid-point with at least 30 wins in three consecutive seasons. Since the NBA went to an 82-game schedule prior to the 1967-68 season, the Lakers have now posted at least 30 wins by the mid-point 14 times, having also put together one additional three season streak from 1985-88.*
A FOURTH QUARTER FIRST
Trailing by six entering the fourth quarter of their January 12th contest with Golden State, the Lakers outscored the Warriors 46-35 en route to a 115-110 victory at ORACLE Arena. The 46-point total marked the first time in franchise history (shot clock era) that the Lakers have scored 46 or more points in the fourth quarter of a road game. The last time the Lakers scored 46 or more points in any quarter on the road was on November 26, 1966 at St. Louis (48 points, first quarter). Overall, it was the Lakers highest scoring quarter since posting 46 points in the fourth quarter of a 127-99 victory 11/29/07 vs. Denver.
KOBE BRYANT LEADS ALL PLAYERS AFTER 4th ROUND OF ALL-STAR BALLOTING
On January 13th, the NBA announced its FOURTH and final returns update of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting before the official starting lineup announcement January 27th live at 7:00 pm EST on TNT. Kobe Bryant (1,757,216) continues to LEAD all players in All-Star voting, ahead of Dwight Howard (1,537,619) and LeBron James (1,518,807). Pau Gasol (851,456), who made his third All-Star team last season as a reserve, ranks 3rd among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (1,270,729) and Carmelo Anthony (945,720). Andrew Bynum (660,576) ranks 2nd among West centers behind Yao Ming (928,928), while Chris Paul (949,049) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the East, James and Amar'e Stoudemire (1,143,391) lead the forward voting, Dwyane Wade (1,499,768) and Derrick Rose (1,225,575) 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.
BRYANT MOVES PAST OSCAR ROBERTSON FOR 9th ON THE NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a running jumper at the 1:09 mark of the third quarter 1/7 vs. New Orleans, Kobe Bryant moved past Oscar Robertson (26,710) for 9th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Just days early, also at STAPLES Center 1/4 vs. Detroit, Bryant connected on a driving lay-up in the third quarter to move past Dominique Wilkins (26,668) for 10th. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.2 ppg), Bryant (26,874) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant are Hakeem Olajuwon (8th/26,946), Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409). Among the top nine scorers in NBA history, more than half (5) have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant).
Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), he passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th. Last season, he 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 Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).
Entering the Lakers game at Dallas, Derek Fisher has played in 456 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 334 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 record setting 112-57 victory vs. Cleveland on January 11th, the Lakers recorded their league-leading SEVENTH wire-to-wire win of the season. Getting to seven wire-to-wire victories in just 39 games matches the Lakers regular season total from all of last season. This season, the Lakers lead the Celtics (6), Spurs (5), Hawks (4) and Bucks (4) in wire-to-wire victories through games played 1/17/11. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories this season came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM), Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS), Pacers (12/15 @ IND) and 76ers (12/31 vs. PHI). 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).