SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers trail their season series with Charlotte 0-1 after splitting last season's series 1-1 and losing the 2008-09 series with the Bobcats 0-2. The two teams have met 13 times in all with the Lakers trailing the all-time series 5-8. The Bobcats are one of only two teams in the NBA that the Lakers have a .500 or losing record against (Boston) all-time. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 3-3 all-time against the Bobcats while in Charlotte, Los Angeles has gone 2-5 overall. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 3-8 against Charlotte. In their first meeting last season at STAPLES Center, the Lakers defeated the Bobcats 99-97, snapping a 3-game home and overall losing streak to Charlotte. In their last two meetings, the Lakers scored a series low 83 points and lost by a then series worst 15 points 3/5/10 and followed that up this season with a series worst 20-point defeat (89-109) 2/14/11 at Charlotte. In 2008-09, the Bobcats defeated the Lakers 110-117 in double-overtime at STAPLES Center, marking the third OT contest (2nd multi-overtime game) between the two teams in the brief history of the series. In 2006-07, the Lakers lost on the road to the Bobcats 124-133 in triple overtime to conclude a six-game road trip. It was the Lakers third ever triple-overtime game in the Los Angeles era and the team's longest game since a four-overtime contest in January of 1980 at Cleveland. In 12 career games against Charlotte, Kobe Bryant is averaging 29.8 points, his highest career average against any team in the league. His high game against the Bobcats was 58 points in the triple-overtime contest 12/29/06. On February 7, the Lakers acquired Shannon Brown, along with Adam Morrison, from Charlotte in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic. Additionally, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan won six NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls under current Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. Bobcats center Kwame Brown played 136 games for the Lakers from 2005- 08, averaging 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds, before being included in a trade that brought Pau Gasol from Memphis to the Lakers.
BRYANT 65 POINTS SHY OF MOSES MALONE FOR 6th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Less than a week removed from passing Elvin Hayes (27,313) for 7th on the NBA's all-time scoring list 2/27 at Oklahoma City, Kobe Bryant (27,344) now stands 65 points shy of Moses Malone (6th/27,409) on the all-time list. Earlier this season, Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10 at Chicago on the all-time list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant and Malone (6th/27,409) are Shaquille O'Neal (5th/28,590), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419) and Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292). Among the top seven scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Chamberlain (4th), O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (7th)).
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).
Kobe Bryant's 24 points in the Lakers victory over the Clippers (2/25) took him over the 1,500-point mark for the 11th consecutive season, marking the longest such streak by an NBA player since Karl Malone reached that milestone in 12 straight seasons (1986-87 to 1997-98).*
BRYANT EARNS RECORD 4TH ALL-STAR GAME MVP
On February 21st, Kobe Bryant was named MVP of the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. With a game-high 37 points, game-high 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals, Bryant's MVP performance tied him with Bob Pettit (4) for the most NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in league history, surpassing Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Oscar Robertson (3). In earning the honor, Bryant became the 7th player in the last 44 years to be named MVP of an All-Star game that was played in his own home arena, joining Jerry West (1972, Great Western Forum), Michael Jordan (1988, Chicago Stadium), Karl Malone & John Stockton (co-MVPs in 1993, Delta Center) and Shaquille O'Neal, who did it twice (2004, STAPLES Center & 2009, US Airways Center). Bryant's 37 points were tied for the 4th most points scored in All-Star Game history with Kevin Garnett (2003), trailing only Wilt Chamberlain (42 points, 1962), Jordan (40 points, 1988) and Rick Barry (38 points, 1967).
Additionally, Bryant's 37-point night and Kevin Durant's 34-point effort marked just the second time that two All-Stars on the same team scored 30-or-more points in the same game. The only other time that happened was in the 1977 game when Julius Erving and Bob McAdoo each scored 30 points for the Eastern Conference. Also, Bryant and Tim Duncan appeared on the same side in an All-Star game for the 12th time on Sunday night, marking the most appearances in an All-Star game as teammates for any two players in NBA history, surpassing Dolph Schayes and Bob Cousy (11 All-Star appearances as teammates).*
STRONG ALL-STAR SHOWING FOR GASOL
With an All-Star Game career-high 17 points (8-13 FG), seven rebounds and two blocks, Pau Gasol helped the West hang on down the stretch for a 148-143 victory over the East in the 60th NBA All-Star Game at STAPLES Center. Logging the most minutes of any Eastern or Western Conference reserve (24:22), Gasol posted the game's second highest plus/minus with +10, equaling Atlanta guard Joe Johnson's +10 and one behind Denver forward Carmelo Anthony's +11 on the night.
Entering the Lakers game against Charlotte, Derek Fisher has played in 475 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 353 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 30 points (8-15 FG, 14-14 FT) and 20 rebounds February 16th at Cleveland, Pau Gasol posted the first 30-point/20-rebound game of his career while becoming the 10th Laker in franchise history ever to do so, joining Shaquille O'Neal (10), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Happy Hairston (1), Wilt Chamberlain (21), Rudy LaRusso (1), Elgin Baylor (77), Larry Foust (1), Clyde Lovellette (1) and George Mikan (10) in the 30/20 club (number in parentheses is with Lakers only). The last Laker to record a 30/20 game prior to Gasol was Shaquille O'Neal, who posted 31 points and 26 rebounds in an overtime victory over Milwaukee on March 21st, 2004.