GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 27 29 25 20 101
Play by Play New Orleans Hornets 19 31 32 13 95


Gasol leads Lakers past Hornets, 101-95

By BRETT MARTEL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pau Gasol had a season-high 34 points to go with 10 rebounds, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 101-95 on Saturday night.

Kobe Bryant added 32 points, including a 3-pointer with 3:20 left to give the Lakers the lead for good in what turned out to be a surprisingly frenetic struggle against the undermanned Hornets, who've now dropped all three games against the two-time defending champions this season.

Chris Paul had 21 points and 15 assists as the Hornets, without starters Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, clawed back from a deficit as large as 14 to take a couple brief leads in the second half.

Paul's driving floater tied it at 92 with 3:43 left, but the Lakers held New Orleans to a 3-pointer by Marco Belinelli after that.

David West had 16 points and 12 rebounds, but was limited to 31 minutes because of foul trouble. Marcus Thornton added 14 points and David Andersen 11 for New Orleans.

Andrew Bynum scored 12 points for the Lakers, who turned the ball over a season-low four times and were the stronger team inside, forcing the Hornets to foul frequently underneath. Los Angeles was 23 of 27 on free throws, while the Hornets were only 4 of 4 and did not go to the foul line in the second half.

Officials called 22 fouls on the Hornets, compared to only 11 on the Lakers, and the crowd noticed the disparity, booing heartily when key calls went against New Orleans.

Still, the game didn't start to get away from the Hornets until Lamar Odom tipped in Bryant's missed jumper to make it 97-92 with 2:49 to go. The Lakers then got consecutive stops, and Gasol and Bryant each made a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds.

The Lakers came in having lost three of four, but two of those losses came against conference leaders Boston and San Antonio, with the loss to the Spurs coming on a basket in the final seconds.

The Hornets also have been struggling, largely because of injuries. Starting center Emeka Okafor has been out for a week with a strained left oblique muscle and his replacement, 7-footer Jason Smith, was out with an illness. Ariza, one of the Hornets' top one-on-one defenders who normally would have guarded Bryant, was out with a sprained right ankle.

Instead, New Orleans started Aaron Gray at center and rookie Quincy Pondexter at small forward. Gray had season highs of 10 points and 10 rebounds in his first start since being acquired in a trade from Chicago last season.

Los Angeles took its first double-digit lead in the first quarter when Ron Artest's 3 made it 27-16. The Lakers used a 7-0 run in the second quarter, highlighted by Gasol's dunk and Bryant's transition 3, to go up by as much as 51-37.

Gasol had 19 points and Bryant 18 in the first half.

West helped the Hornets prevent a blowout with 14 points and nine rebounds before the break and the Hornets closed to 56-50 on Thornton's 3 from the corner at the halftime horn.

The Hornets appeared to be in trouble when West went to the bench with his fourth foul with 8:38 to go in the third and the Lakers up 62-53. Instead, New Orleans turned in a scrappy period in which it made 13 of 21 shots.

Paul followed Andersen's lone 3 with two of his own late in the third quarter, the last giving the Hornets their first lead of the game at 82-81 in the last second of the third quarter.

NOTES: New Orleans' newly acquired swingman Sasha Pavlovic, who signed a 10-day contract on Friday, saw his first action late in the first quarter. He played nearly 10 minutes and had three assists and a rebound. ... The Hornets are 20-6 at home this season and entered with a seven-game home winning streak. ... For Los Angeles, which is 16-8 away from home, the game was the first of a seven-game trip that continues Monday at Memphis and includes stops at Boston, New York, Orlando, Charlotte and Cleveland. ... Hornets reserve center D.J. Mbenga scored a season-high eight points.


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



34 Season-high points for Pau Gasol, who had scored 32 after three quarters on on-fire 13-of-17 field goals before adding two late free throws. Kobe Bryant wasn’t far behind with 32 points himself.

13 Points conceded by the Lakers in the fourth quarter, good enough to secure a victory and a season sweep at New Orleans.

8 Steals for the Lakers, compared with zero for the Hornets. Related: L.A. committed only four turnovers for the game.

6 Three-pointers hit by the Hornets in the third quarter, turning what looked like an easy victory for the Lakers into a slug fest by outscoring L.A. 32-25 in the period.

4 Free throws attempted by the Hornets, compared with L.A.’s 27, showing how much the Hornets relied on jump shots.




View More Photos


Points Gasol 13-17 FG 34
Rebounds Gasol 3 OFF 7 DEF 10
Assists Bryant 5
Steals Artest 3
Blocks Artest 3

POSTGAME QUOTES

Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson:

On having a season-low four turnovers: “It was a slow pace game. They like to play at that pace. We thought we got into that pace and we played pretty good with the ball tonight.”

On Lakers defense: “The ball stopped in the fourth quarter. They were breaking through and (Chris) Paul was getting what he wanted off the crossovers and getting off in the middle on screen-rolls. Then we started getting the ball stopped in the fourth quarter.”

On Lakers adjusting their defense in the fourth quarter: “We had to move up on the screens because we did not have as much room. A couple of times, we had to trap them (Hornets) in the corner to close that space and we had to go around than into the middle of the lane.”

On having the third best road record and struggling at home: “It’s not easy to explain, but some of it is about coming on the road, being together, and having this type of a crowd like we had tonight. It was a big crowd, enthusiastic crowd and playing to that level is expected of us as champions. That’s where the guys get their biggest thrill as players.”

On winning on the road tonight: “We shot the ball well and you always have to have that kind of a game to win, especially on the road. The other thing we did was control the pace. We did not win the rebound battle; that was one of the other faults, but the thing is we took care of it.”








Lakers Ron Artest
On his night defensively: “I’m not into stats, it doesn’t interest me that much.  All that matters is if we win.  We played good and grinded it out tonight.  Pau played great fresh off his all star nod.  We played together and made a lot of extra baskets at the end, and that was great.






Lakers Andrew Bynum:
On being active: “Coach was just telling me after I get the rebound to get down the floor.  I felt good tonight and I started to get a lot more touches.”

On the defense in the 4th quarter: “We got a little more aggressive and stopped them.  We got up a little bit higher on screen and rolls.”

On going against Aaron Gray tonight: “It is what is.  Defensively we just have to get things done.”






Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams:

(On if the game could be considered a moral victory)
“I love this team. I love our guys the way we compete the way we approach practice, games, the way we are with each other, and it shows in a game like this. We are down a few guys but the way we came out tonight I don’t think a lot of people thought we would be in this game tonight and I’m just being frank and honest. I feel like we were playing against so much tonight and we don’t use anything as an excuse and I think our guys have bought into that. If you put an NBA jersey on you have a chance to win the game and that’s how we approach it. 27 to four free throws (disparity between the Lakers and Hornets), I mean that’s hard to do in a pick-up game. To me it’s hard to explain that. It’s hard for a game to be that physical and we only get four free throws. I think our guys were competing their butts off tonight and I thought that we deserved a little bit more whatever you want to call it but I think we deserved to go to the line more tonight.

(On competing in the paint all night but falling short at the end)
“We had a few looks at the basket. A couple of them went down and came out. But to me, I’m happy that the guys took those shots because that’s all that you can ask for. You can’t control the ball, but I think the way that we came out in the third quarter was extraordinary. We put ourselves in a bit of a hole in the first quarter and with a team like the Lakers you can’t do something like that but the last three minutes of the game were pretty much zero-zero.  We would give an offensive rebound for a bucket and them we leave Kobe Bryant open for a three but before that our guys competed. If you play like that - no matter who you have on your bench - you are going to win games because teams in this league don’t play for 48 minutes and that’s what we try to do.”





Hornets forward Quincy Pondexter:
(On playing competitively)
“To beat the Lakers you have to play good basketball, and capitalize on mistakes when they make them. They are a great team and that’s why they are champions. With this team you have to pick your poison and they did a great job of moving the ball off the double teams.”




Hornets guard Willie Green:
(On hanging tough and coming up just short)
The Lakers are a good team with the two big guys down low, it was a hard fought game tonight that went down to the end and we just didn’t get the stops we needed. Not to make any excuses but we thought we didn’t get some calls that may have gone our way, but you have to give the Lakers the credit. They came out and made the plays the needed to make.








LAKERS VS. HORNETS GAME PREVIEW

By MIKE LIPKA, STATS Editor

The Los Angeles Lakers certainly weren't satisfied with their recent homestand, but they won't have to worry about winning at Staples Center again until after the All-Star break.

Not that winning will be any easier on a challenging seven-game road trip that begins Saturday night in New Orleans.

The Hornets have won six straight and 11 of 13 at home, but they'll be without two injured starters as they try to avoid losing a third straight in the season series with the Lakers.

The reigning NBA champions have endured a few surprisingly difficult stretches this season, including a 1-3 finish to their just-completed five-game homestand.

An overtime win over Houston was the Lakers' only victory in that span, which included an upset loss to Sacramento and a 109-96 defeat in a NBA finals rematch with Boston.

Los Angeles (34-16) lost 89-88 to league-leading San Antonio on Thursday when Spurs forward Antonio McDyess tipped in an offensive rebound just before the buzzer.

"It's tough when you're struggling," Lakers center Pau Gasol said. "We're hitting the road, and we'll have an opportunity to get it together and get back on the right track."

Poor shooting has been one culprit for Los Angeles, which has hit only 42.7 percent of its shots in its last three losses - including a season-worst 2 of 14 from 3-point range against the Spurs.

Kobe Bryant, though, said a few losses aren't necessarily a bad thing.

"I think it builds mental toughness," he said.

This trip may do the same. With the Grammy Awards occupying Staples Center until the All-Star game there Feb. 20, Los Angeles will play seven straight on the road - the first five against opponents with winning records.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he's "curious" to see how his team fares.

"It's always fun to go out and have to take on a series of teams on the road," Jackson said. "We're playing well on the road as a basketball team and we know it but we just have to keep playing that way."

The Lakers have won nine of their last 12 road games, including a convincing 103-88 win in New Orleans on Dec. 29.

They also beat the Hornets 101-97 at home Jan. 7, their eighth win in 10 meetings. Poor shooting hasn't been a problem against New Orleans (32-19) this season, with the Lakers shooting better than 50 percent in both victories and Lamar Odom hitting 18 of 30 from the field to average 20.5 points.

Defensively, they held New Orleans' David West to eight points in the first matchup and Chris Paul to 12 in the second.

Los Angeles is 15-1 this season when it makes at least half its shots, and the Hornets may have even more trouble matching up with the Lakers' big men without Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.

The New Orleans frontcourt duo is averaging a combined 22.2 points and 15.6 rebounds, but Okafor is sidelined with an oblique strain while Ariza - a former Laker - will likely miss about two weeks with a sprained ankle he sustained Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

The Hornets couldn't contain NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant in that game, allowing him to score 43 points and shoot 14 of 19 as the Thunder won 104-93.

"As a whole, I didn't think we had that nitty-gritty, go-after-it kind of game," coach Monty Williams said, "and we can't play unless we're playing that way."

New Orleans, which signed veteran Sasha Pavlovic on Friday to help fill in, has typically been stingier at home, allowing 87.0 points per game during its six-game winning streak there.



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 Matt Barnes (right knee surgery) is not with team.
Andrew Bynum (bone bruise/left knee) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is not with team.

Trevor Ariza (right medial ankle sprain) is questionable.
Emeka Okafor
(left oblique strain) is out.



12/29 - LAL @ NOH W 103-88
01/07 - NOH @ LAL W 101-98
02/05 - LAL @ NOH
03/27 - NOH @ LAL


The Hornets are in a tough spot limping along toward the all-star break.  They recently lost 40% of their starting lineup when Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor went down with injuries in the last week.  In addition, Chris Paul rolled his ankle in their last game so he may be less than 100% (although his less than 100% is better than a lot of players at 110%).  Regardless of these injury problems we expect a hard game in the Big Easy.  The Hornets average 94 points per game and give up 92 (#2 in league).  They are not a blazing fast break team but where they can cause the most problems is in their secondary or early offensive attack.  This is the part of the game where they are not getting a shot out of a clear fastbreak but it is the offense they flow into before they have to set up and call a specific play set.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead the season series with New Orleans 2-0 after taking last season's series from the Hornets 2-1. The Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Hornets including a 5-1 mark in their last six meetings. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 homes games against the Hornets and are 13-4 all-time against the Hornets at STAPLES Center. Since the Hornets move to New Orleans from Charlotte prior to the 2002-03 season, the Lakers have gone 8-3 at New Orleans Arena while going 0-2 at Ford Center in Oklahoma City during their temporary relocation from 2005-07. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 21-9 against the Hornets. In 2006, the Lakers and Hornets took part in the city of New Orleans first professional sports game following Hurricane Katrina when they met at the New Orleans Arena March 8, 2006. The Lakers won that contest 113-107 behind 40 points from Kobe Bryant. In 2006-07, Bryant scored a series record 50 points 3/23/07, becoming just the second player in NBA history to score 50+ points in four consecutive games. In their first meeting of the 2007-08 season (11/6/07), Peja Stojakovic made a Lakers opponent record 10 three-point field goals while Chris Paul became only the 7th Lakers opponent to record at least 21 assists in a game and the first since John Stockton did so in April of 1990. In a January 6, 2009 loss to New Orleans, David West scored a series-high 40 points for the Hornets, surpassing Baron Davis' old mark of 37 established when the team was in Charlotte back in 2002. Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons spent the 2004-05 and 2005- 06 seasons as an assistant coach in New Orleans. Hornets forward Trevor Ariza played 106 regular season games with Los Angeles from 2007-09, averaging 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.54 steals during his Lakers career while helping the team to the 2009 NBA Championship. Additionally, Hornets center DJ Mbenga played three seasons with the Lakers from 2007-10, averaged 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds and was a member of two championship Lakers teams (2009, 2010).

PAU GASOL NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR FOR 3RD CONSECUTIVE SEASON; 4TH ALL-STAR APPEARANCE OVERALL
On February 3rd, the NBA announced that Lakers' forward Pau Gasol was selected to represent the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game to be played February 20th in Los Angeles at STAPLES Center. Gasol, who will join teammate Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference team, will be making his 4th career All-Star appearance (2006, 2009, 2010). In 2009, Gasol became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team, posting 15 points (5-7 FG) and a team-high eight rebounds in the West's 146-119 victory over the East. In his first All-Star game in 2006, Gasol, despite playing a team-low 14 minutes, pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds in the West's two-point loss to the East (120-122). Last season, Gasol, in 20 minutes, totaled 13 points (5-9 FG), six rebounds and a steal in a 139-141 loss to the Eastern Conference 2/14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. In selecting the reserves, each of the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team. In fan voting for this year's starters, Gasol (1,100,772) finished 3rd among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (1,736,728) and Carmelo Anthony (1,299,849).

BRYANT PASSES HAKEEM OLAJUWON FOR 8th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a fast break dunk at the 3:29 mark of the first quarter 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Kobe Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) for 8th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Earlier this month, Bryant moved past Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans and Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit on the all-time list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.4 ppg), Bryant (27,061) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant are Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409). Among the top eight scorers in NBA history, more than half (5) have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Wilt Chamberlain (4th), Shaquille O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (8th)).

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).

BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 27,000 POINTS; 8th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE
With his 28th point January 30th vs. Boston, Kobe Bryant reached 27,000 for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 27,000 points in NBA history (31 years, 160 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 202 days) who reached the milestone back on March 11, 1969. Michael Jordan, the only guard in NBA history to score 27,000 points, reached the milestone November 5, 1997 when he was 34 years, 261 days of age. Additionally, Bryant became the 8th player in NBA history to score 27,000 points and the 5th fastest to do so (1,069) in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 27,000, doing so in 780 games, followed by Jordan (852), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (965) and Karl Malone (1,035).
Earlier this season, with his 17th point November 11th at Denver, Bryant reached 26,000 for his career. In doing so, he 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. The youngest player in league history to accumulate 17,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 27,000 points, Bryant was the 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, 9th fastest to 25,000 and 8th fastest to 26,000 points in terms of games.

KOBE BRYANT IS TOP VOTE GETTER IN 2011 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY T-MOBILE
On January 27th, the NBA announced that Kobe Bryant is this year's leading vote-getter in the All-Star Balloting program presented by T-Mobile with 2,380,016 votes. It is the second time Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, has led all players in NBA All-Star balloting (2003) as well as his 13th consecutive All-Star selection; only Jerry West, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O'Neal have more been selected more times consecutively (14 times each). In league history, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), O'Neal (15), Michael Jordan (14), Malone (14), West (14) and Garnett (14) have more NBA All-Star selections. Andrew Bynum (974,546) finished 2nd among West centers behind Yao Ming (1,146,426) while Chris Paul (1,281,591) will start at guard alongside Bryant in the West. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, the second leading vote-getter overall with 2,099,204, led the Eastern Conference in balloting. Starting alongside Howard in the East are LeBron James (2,053,011) and Amar'e Stoudemire (1,674,995) at forward and Dwyane Wade (2,048,175) and Derrick Rose (1,914,996) in the backcourt.

With the 2011 results in, Bryant has now led the Western Conference in all-star balloting in each of the last four seasons. 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 now a 13-time All-Star. He had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing last year's contest due to a sprained left ankle.

ODOM & GASOL ENJOY RARE NIGHT FOR LAKERS TEAMMATES
In their 114-106 overtime victory February 1st against the Rockets, Pau Gasol (26 points, 16 rebounds) and Lamar Odom (20 points, 20 rebounds) became the first Lakers teammates in exactly 38 years to the day to post at least 20 points and 16 rebounds in the same game. On February 1, 1973, Wilt Chamberlain (25 points, 19 rebounds) and Bill Bridges (20 points, 16 rebounds) both posted 20-point, 16-rebound games in the Lakers 120-106 victory at Phoenix.

LACK OF ASSISTS
In their January 30th loss to Boston, the Lakers handed out a season-low 10 assists. That total is the Lakers lowest in a home game since October 25, 1960 (two weeks before the Kennedy-Nixon presidential election) in the team's second home game after moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. In Jerry West's fourth NBA game, Los Angeles was credited with only five assists on 42 field goals in a 120-118 win over the Knickerbockers.*

SHOOTING LIGHTS OUT
In the Lakers January 30th loss to Boston, the Celtics made 44-of-73 shots from the field (60.3%) at STAPLES Center. That was the third-highest field-goal percentage ever posted by the Celtics against the Lakers, at home or on the road, during the regular or postseason, versus the Minneapolis or the Los Angeles Lakers. In the other two games, Boston shot 61.5 percent from the field in a regular season loss at the LA Forum in 1990 and 60.8 percent in a victory in Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals.*

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.*

GASOL REACHES UNIQUE WELL-ROUNDED MILESTONE
With a four foot hook shot at the 1:00 mark of the second quarter 1/19 at Dallas, Pau Gasol scored his 13,000th career point in his 693rd career regular season game. Among players who debuted since 1973-74 (first season of blocked shots), Gasol, became 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) reached those totals faster than Gasol.

GASOL NAMED 2010 EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
In January, La Gazzetta dello Sport, one of the premier sports journals in the world, named Pau Gasol European Player of the Year for the THIRD consecutive year. The prestigious award was decided on by a panel of judges comprised of players, coaches and basketball journalists. Gasol beat out Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (2nd), who had won the award five consecutive years from 2002-06, and the Spanish League's Juan Carlos Navarro (3rd) of FC Barcelona. The first Spanish player to win the award, Gasol joins Nowitzki as the only other player to win the award three-straight years. Other notable past winners include Arvydas Sabonis (6-time winner), Toni Kukoc (5-time winner), Drazen Petrovic (4-time winner) and Tony Parker.

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game at New Orleans, Derek Fisher has played in 463 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 341 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.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their record setting 121-90 victory vs. Utah on January 25th, the Lakers recorded their league-leading EIGHTH wire-to-wire win of the season. Getting to seven wire- to-wire victories in just 39 games matched the Lakers regular season total from all of last season, while their eighth in 46 games surpassed that total. This season, the Lakers (8) lead the NBA in wire-to-wire victories, followed by the Celtics (7), Spurs (5) and Bucks (5) through games played 2/3/11. 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), 76ers (12/31 vs. PHI) and Cavaliers (1/11 vs. CLE). 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).

FISHER NAMED 2010 "SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR" BY LOS ANGELES SPORTS COUNCIL
On January 6th, the Los Angeles Sports Council announced that Lakers guard Derek Fisher will receive the prestigious 2010 Sportsman of the Year award at the 6th annual LA Sports Awards to be held Thursday, February 24th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The LA Sports Awards are presented annually by the Los Angeles Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in local sports. The Sportsman award is given to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year. Past Sportsman of the Year honorees include Matt Leinart (2005), Elton Brand (2006), David Beckam (2007), Kobe Bryant (2008) and Pau Gasol (2009). The awards show will be televised on Fox Sports West (initial airing will be March 4th).

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.

LAKERS HISTORIC ROUT
With their 112-57 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 11th, the Lakers established a new franchise record for fewest points allowed in the shot clock era, eclipsing the old mark of 66 established 3/12/02 vs. Charlotte. The 55-point margin of victory was the third largest in Lakers franchise history (regular season) as well as the largest league-wide since the Pacers defeated the Trail Blazers 124-59 in February of 1998. The Indiana-Portland game was the only contest in NBA history in which one team doubled up an opponent, with the Lakers falling one basket shy of becoming the second team in league history to score at least twice as many points as its opponent. The Lakers led by 51 entering the fourth quarter against Cleveland and by as many as 56 on the night, marking the first time the Lakers led by at least 50 points in a game since 1/9/04 vs. Atlanta when they defeated the Hawks 113-67 and led by as many as 53 points in the contest. For the Cavaliers, 57 points are the fewest scored in franchise history while the 55-point margin of defeat also establishes a new Cleveland franchise mark.





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