GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 26 27 17 18 88
Play by Play Miami Heat 29 26 13 26 94

Heat snap 5-game slide, top Lakers 94-88


MIAMI (AP) The first chore for the Miami Heat is done: They're in the playoffs.

That's no surprise.

Snapping a five-game slide by beating the NBA's hottest team to get there, well, that might not have been what everyone saw coming.

Chris Bosh scored 24 points, Dwyane Wade added eight of his 20 in the fourth quarter and the Heat ended their losing streak by beating the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers 94-88 on Thursday night, the earliest Miami has secured a postseason bid in franchise history.

LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Heat, and Mike Miller scored 12 for Miami.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points for the Lakers, whose eight-game winning streak was snapped. Pau Gasol added 20 and Andrew Bynum finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles.

There were so many subplots surrounding this game - the winning streak, the losing streak, Miami's frustration levels, and so on - that it didn't need more drama.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson provided some before tipoff anyway.

Jackson - who's shown a flair for poking the Heat more than once this season - said before the game that he doesn't like how Miami plays, even likening its style to an Xbox video game.

"I'm not a big fan of the style that Miami plays," Jackson said.

He might like it less now, after the Heat finished off a season sweep of the defending champions.

The final minutes hardly seemed like a team with an eight-game winning streak facing a team on a five-game losing streak.

It was theater, the out-of-your-seat, roaring-after-every-play variety.

Start with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter, when the game was tied for the 17th time by Gasol making two free throws, knotting things at 82-82.

Wade changed speeds for separation and drove past Bryant, putting Miami back on top, so Bryant - who had missed 9 of his last 11 shots - came down on the ensuing possession and hit a 3-pointer from near the Heat bench.

They were just getting started. Bryant made another 3-pointer - officially, it went into the books as 28 feet, though it seemed longer - with 2:26 left to tie the game at 88. A minute later, Wade knocked the ball away from Bryant, got it back and set up James for a dunk in transition to send Miami up again, 90-88.

Wade has said he wants the ball in end-of-game situations.

The Heat listened.

James freed him with a pick against Bryant, Wade drove and got a layup to bounce through for a four-point edge with 46.0 seconds left.

Bryant lost the ball under the Lakers' basket five seconds later, and then James put it away with two free throws with 19.2 seconds remaining.

And it didn't come easily.

James went nearly 19 minutes without scoring in one stretch, until a layup with 5:20 left in the third gave Miami a 62-59 lead. When his drought ended, the entire Heat team started one.

The Lakers had a 9-0 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from Derek Fisher. But Miami answered, scoring six of the final eight points of the period and getting within 70-68 when James stepped back and hit a 20-footer over Ron Artest with 0.2 seconds remaining.

So with that, Miami got a buzzer-beater to end the first quarter, the last basket of the second, and another beat-the-clock score to close the third.

The Heat have lost 11 times this season when having a chance to take the lead or tie the game in the final 12 seconds.

This one didn't go down to the absolute wire, though. Miami took care of it before the final moments.

The first half was about as even as could be - 10 ties, 10 lead changes, both teams holding five-point leads at some point, and the Heat taking a 55-53 edge into the break.

Bryant made his first four shots and scored the Lakers' first 10 points, then managed just seven on 2 for 6 shooting in the final 20 1/2 minutes before halftime. Gasol added 14 by intermission, while the Heat countered with a scoring twosome of their own.

And no, neither James nor Wade was carrying the load.

Bosh - who said after Tuesday's loss to Portland that he would demand the ball more often in the low post - made six of his first seven attempts and had 16 points in the half. Miller added 11 by halftime, only the second time he'd reached double digits in the first two quarters all season, the other memorably being the 24-point blitz en route to a 32-point effort on Jan. 22 against Toronto.

A pair of late-in-the-quarter scores helped the Heat. James drove the left side of the lane, double-pumped and hit a one-handed runner over Gasol that beat the buzzer for a 29-26 Miami lead after the first, and Bosh's tip-in with 17.8 seconds left in the second gave the Heat their 44th halftime lead of the season.

NOTES: Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton was courtside - in a Bryant jersey. He's a native of the Los Angeles area. ... Magic Johnson sat opposite the Miami bench, with Heat President Pat Riley. ... Juwan Howard appeared in the first quarter for Miami, the first time that's happened since Jan. 28. ... The Heat plan to honor Tim James, their 1999 first-round pick who enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq when his playing career was over, when they host Denver on March 19.

Copyright 2011 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

25 L.A.'s shooting percentage in the fourth quarter, when just a shot or two more made may have won them the game.

16 More points in the paint for the Heat than the Lakers.

13 Third quarter points scored by the Heat after a solid defensive quarter from the Lakers produced seven Heat turnovers. The Lakers weren't much better, however, managing just 17 while Kobe Bryant missed all five of his attempts in the period.

9 Miami's advantage on the glass, showcasing a Game-7 type effort from a team desperate for a win, and an answer to a major build up of criticism that resulted from their five-game losing streak.

8 Points for Dwyane Wade down the stretch, the Heat running things through No. 3, who got to the rim three times for layups through traffic.

View More Photos

Points Bryant 24, 8-21 FG
Rebounds Bynum 12, 3 OFF 9 DEF
Assists Artest 6
Steals Artest 3
Blocks Bynum, Gasol 1


Lakers coach Phil Jackson

On the Game:

“They (the Miami HEAT players) beat us to the ball tonight.  They were quicker to the ball than we were and it showed up at the very end even; with that play that LeBron (James) put them ahead 90 to 88.”

“Good game.”

“They (the Miami HEAT) played better than we did.  I think they can play better than they did.  I hope to see them again sometime this year.”

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant

On the game:

“We (Los Angeles Lakers) didn’t do a good job protecting the rim.  They (Miami HEAT) got lay-ups at the rim.”

“The ones (shots) I had lined up, I was making.  The one in the corner (at the end of game), they just missed it, plain and simple.”

“In the fourth quarter we let (Dwyane) Wade get all the way to the basket off those screen-and-roll actions.  It cost us.”

“He (Dwyane Wade) is a handful coming off those screens.  He did a good job attacking our bigs coming off those screens and getting to the rim.”

“They had 12 offensive rebounds in the first half; we don’t do that.  That is uncharacteristic of us.  I turned the ball over late in the game when it was tied; just stupid stuff like that.  Those are easily correctable.” 

On the Miami HEAT:

“When you get 12 offensive rebounds that means you are playing with more energy and more fight than the other team.”

“They got a lot of hustle points tonight.  They got to a lot of 50-50 balls, and that was the difference in the game.” 

On Chris Bosh:

“They went to him (Chris Bosh) a lot more, which I think was the difference.”

Lakers' center Andrew Bynum

On the game:

“We just didn’t capitalize on opportunities.  We turned the ball over twice at critical times.  We couldn’t play a lick of D (defense) at the end.”

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom

On the game:

“Defensive rebounds hurt us early on in the game.  They (Miami HEAT) kept their momentum going.  We gave up too many shots.”

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra

On the Game:

“It’s a stubborn group in there to keep grinding away and continue to put ourselves in that position where you can fail or succeed.  It’s not about anything else.  It’s not about the talk, not about the noise that is going on outside.  We just need to stay focused, stay together and continue to try to get better.  Today was a better game for us and we got a better result.  The execution on both ends of the court, you saw a real sense of urgency and desperation defensively to hold a team like that (Los Angeles Lakers) to 29 percent in the second half.  There was also a lot of trust.  We didn’t have anyone score over 25 points, the ball was moving and the guys were working in unison to try and make the game easier for each other.”

“We were working a lot of different triggers with a lot of different guys handling the ball.  A lot of our open shots were the result of guys executing the details, simply moving the ball and finding the open shooter.”

“It’s one game.  We certainly wanted to get over this initial hump. We have to keep on moving forward.  The important thing about going through a stretch like that is that the guys did not collapse.  Every single game was very competitive going down the stretch.  The guys want to make this work.  We know exactly what we need to improve on.”

“It was exactly what we wanted.  We don’t want to run away from this and we don’t want to hide.  We want to get better; we want to make sure our game is right and ready when it really counts.  We need to improve.  The more we’re in this, the more confident and better we’ll get.  Sometimes when you go through tough trails and adversity like that and you survive, it does make you stronger as a group.  This is one game.  We’re not over the hump, we still need to improve and get better.”


On Chris Bosh:

“We have some competitive guys.  Their immediate reaction is to self-will and we need big time contributions from Chris (Bosh).  We tried to work him in some different areas, not just the post or in the high post, but get him to the rim more often and executing our offense and it opened up more things for him.  He (Chris Bosh) had a terrific mind set this morning in shoot around, it really set the tone for everybody.  He was dead serious about his approach, and he made sure everyone else was serious about it.  It really was contagious.”

“Tonight, he was more committed in getting in to the rim and bouncing it out.  We also tried to help him get more opportunities at the rim by dishing to him and getting him on the move.  He was very good, focused and set the tone for the shoot around.  He went full speed; he was also very demonstrative and vocal in the shoot around to everybody.  It almost caught everybody by surprise.  It was a great step in leadership on his part.”


On Mike Miller:

“It was great to see him step up from all this swirl.  We talked about it yesterday, it’s great when people go through all the adversity, speculation and conjecture that’s out there, because that just forces you to focus more.  Mike (Miller) came in today with a great focus in shoot around.”

LeBron James & Dwyane Wade

On the game:

LeBron James: “It was a huge part of the game, being up two and having to execute down the stretch and we drew up a play at the time out.  When you draw up a play at the time out, and then you go out there and execute it, and get a bucket out of it, it makes you feel really good.”

Dwyane Wade: “We’re just trying to get back on track.  It feels good to win a game with the way we’ve been losing games.  We knew this game would come down to the end, just like the last couple of games we’ve lost here at home.  We made plays at the end to win the game.  That’s what feels good about.  It’s just a win to get back on track.  We’ll move on to Saturday to a Memphis team who is playing well as well.”

Dwyane Wade: “I was just being very aggressive.  Coach (Erik Spoelstra) gave me the ball in the spots I’m used too.  I just made plays.  My teammates did a great job of screening for me, and I got to the basket a few times, and got it to go.  It was just the will to win, just making a play.”

Dwyane Wade: “I feel like we haven’t been doing enough of late.  Enough meaning, we haven’t gotten defensive stops, we haven’t gotten loose balls and we haven’t gotten the rebounds.  I feel tonight we did all that.  Just doing all the little things we did tonight to win the game is what did it.”

LeBron James: “I think D Wade (Dwayne Wade) said it.  Just everyone had to do a little bit more.  I think our bench gave us what we needed in them, and they made shots.  Both Mikes (Miller and Bibby) made huge shots.  I also think Juwan (Howard) came in and gave us some great minutes when CB (Chris Bosh) picked up those early two, quick fouls; he gave us some huge minutes.  I got some good offensive rebounds, and gave us a few extra possessions.  We need that out of our bench.  Everyone just did a little extra, everyone just stayed in the moment and everyone was ready for when their number was called.  We made enough plays down the stretch for them to win.”

On Chris Bosh:

Dwyane Wade: “I think when you ask for the ball and you get it, you have to do something with it and Chris (Bosh) did it.  He came out very aggressive in the first half.  We wanted to get the ball to him a lot more, especially if he gets sweet spots.  We know he wants the ball and now we’ve figured out more areas where he can be affective.  It’s key.  That lets us know that he’s ready, he wants to win and he wants the ball; he’s not shying away from it.”

LeBron James: “I think he also did a good job of mixing it up.  He didn’t limit out on the perimeter tonight.  He was very aggressive on (Pau) Gasol.  Those are two of the best forwards we have in this game, and they went head-to-head.  Chris (Bosh) did a great job of being in attack mode and shooting the jumpers when he had it.  We need that out of him.”

On the Los Angeles Lakers:

Dwyane Wade:  “They are a team that understands how good they are.  They are very long.  The one thing you have to do with the (Los Angeles) Lakers is try to limit them to one shot.  If you can force them to take tough shots and limit them getting offensive rebounds, you have a chance of winning games.  I think it was in the fourth quarter, when Kobe (Bryant) was on the bench, their offense wasn’t flowing, but they stayed in the game because of offensive rebounds.  (If) you stop that, you’re able to limit them some.  They are a great team.  I thought we did a great job of trying to limit them to one shot and making them defend us.”


On the play of the bench:

Dwyane Wade:  “It (the bench) helped me to be able to, defensively, try to make it tough for them, but also offensively have something as well.”

LeBron James:  “Guys come to work everyday and we believe that no matter whoever we put on the floor, that we can win.  Guys just stay mentally prepared on whatever the task is at hand.”


On the lack of drama between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant tonight:

LeBron James:  “This guy right here (Dwyane Wade), he didn’t need any help.  Every time D. Wade (Dwyane Wade) sat, it seemed like Kobe (Bryant) sat.  When D. Wade came back into the game, Kobe came back into the game.  They defended one another.  D. Wade kept a hand on him, got a few deflections, got a few blocks, and kept a body in front of him.  Even the two three’s (three point shots) that he (Kobe Bryant) made were some tough shots.  So I didn’t need to guard him tonight. [Then speaking directly to Dwyane Wade] Thank you.”

Chris Bosh

On the game:

“That is tough to say if this feels like how December did because we were winning a lot more games in December, we had a different kind of momentum. What we did want to do was just come out and compete as hard as we can, not make any excuses, just leave everything on the court, and have fun playing basketball. We knew this was going to be a competitive game, and come down to the wire. We prepared ourselves, and we just came out and played hard.”

“This was a very big game and we had everything riding on it.  Everybody wanted to win very badly.”

“I love this game; I play basketball; I work hard at it; I put everything I have into it. When it is time to play, the way I know I can, I just go out there and let it happen. I know I can help this team in a different way, and tonight I give credit to my teammates. I was aggressive coming to the ball, but they were unselfish in giving it to me.”

“Being aggressive and getting to the rim is a high percentage shot for us, and sets up everything.”

On the win:

“You know that old statistic that is always around with close games, this was an opportunity for us to really keep our composure and execute down he stretch, get stops when the press is on, and make plays when the pressure is on and it was there the last three minutes.  It was very important us for us to finish out the game.”

“We expect to win every time we step on the court, and we just have to have that mentality. We are glad that we won, but we are going to look at our mistakes too. We have to keep striving to get better keep this thing going, and not look back. “

On pre-game:

“It told him (Erik Spolestra) I wasn’t playing around. I was just going to focus on going hard and make sure in the first couple of minutes that I tried and just crash the boards, get back on defense, run the lane on the fast breaks, and just be active.  That gave me and the team momentum the rest of the game.”

On his performance:

“I take the mentality that I have to prove something every day. Tomorrow and Saturday I am going to prove the same thing again. A great player told me that you have to have that attitude. You keep proving your self, and the next day you do it again.  I work hard at this game, and at the end of the day, it’s just believing in my self and making plays. I do that with the best of them.”

Mike Miller

On the game:

“It feels good to win.  Hopefully it carries over now to Saturday.”

“It feels good to win.  Obviously, it’s been a struggle here the last five games, and then you bring the Lakers in here who’ve been playing the best basketball in the league.  It feels good to win games.”

On his play the last several games

“I felt good the last couple games.  I’ve been playing 11 years now and there are times you miss shots and there are times you make shots. It can’t stop you from shooting.  You keep shooting them up and hopefully make them.”

“You have to make the most with your opportunities.  Whether it’s three, four, five, six shots, you have to be able to knock down shots and help [the team] as much as possible.”

On the HEAT’s balanced scoring tonight:

“It’s good for us.  Obviously anytime we can get some scoring besides the three main guys ignites us a little bit.  We had some scoring off the ball with those guys tonight, and that definitely helped.”

What was the difference in this game:

“The defensive rebounding and then we executed down the stretch.  D Wade [Dwyane Wade] made some big plays, offensively and defensively, against Kobe [Bryant].  It was just a big win for us.  You could tell how bad we wanted it.”

Mario Chalmers

On the other team member’s contribution to the win besides the big three:

“It makes us a tough team to beat.  When everyone is hitting on all cylinders, you don’t know who to stop and that’s how we have to continue to play.”

“When they [the big three] have other options, they don’t have to do everything by themselves.  It makes our team a whole lot better.”

On the game:

“It was a good win.  We just pulled out a victory - a much needed win for us.”

On the difference in the game:

“It was our defense.  We just wanted it more than they did.  D Wade [Dwyane Wade] played great ‘D’ on Kobe [Bryant].  I think that was a factor.  We just had everyone else play their regular game.”


By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP)—It has come to this: Even Phil Jackson is offering a sympathetic word to the reeling Miami Heat.

The coach of the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers has taken plenty of jabs at the Heat in recent months, over everything from how this roster was put together, Erik Spoelstra's job security, and this week the already-infamous episode dubbed "Crygate."

So on Wednesday, with the Heat in a five-game losing streak, Jackson stood on their home floor and had ample opportunity to poke Miami again.

He went the other way instead.

"From what I've heard, this team feels like they're being looked at to lose, or they've been hoped at to lose," Jackson said before the Lakers practiced for their Thursday game in Miami. "I know locally that can't stand true, but nationally, if that's the case, it's a burden to carry. And then those games that are dramatic become bigger than they really should be."

That certainly seems to be the case around Miami these days.

Not even two weeks ago, the Heat were in a virtual tie with Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Miami hasn't won since, falling to third in the East, 4 1/2 games behind the Celtics and two games behind theChicago Bulls. Even the No. 3 seed in the East playoffs isn't exactly assured, with Orlando starting play Wednesday three games behind the Heat.

It's a freefall, and the Heat know that when they lose games, most of the NBA is thrilled. So Wednesday's practice wasn't about licking wounds, Spoelstra said. The Heat needed to simply get back to work.

"Less talk, more action," Spoelstra said.

Oh, there was plenty of talking as well.

Miami lost to Portland 105-96 on Tuesday night, after which Wade suggested he'd like to see rotation changes and Bosh insisted he would be demanding the ball more often down low. And on Wednesday, those themes hadn't changed much: Spoelstra took the rare step of immediately watching Tuesday's game in his office afterward, and Bosh was planning to chat with Wade and James.

"We're all in this together, but at the end of the day, we know what people are going to be looking at," Bosh said. "And we know who's going to get the finger pointed at them first. And rightfully so—we asked for this, coming together, and we knew that coming into the situation. We take the responsibility of it. It is what it is, no matter what we say, no matter what we do."

Lakers forward Lamar Odom said the Heat plight is one of the biggest stories in sports right now. Considering who was offering opinions on the Heat a few miles away on Wednesday, he may be right.

Tiger Woods—with his own winless drought to deal with—weighed in on the state of the Heat from nearby Doral, where he'll play in this week's World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.

"They are trying to jell and obviously they are adding pieces," Woods said. "I mean, as soon as they become more cohesive, they add (Mike) Bibby, so it's going to take a little time. They have 18, 19 games left in the season, somewhere around there. They have plenty of time to turn it around and get rolling for the playoffs."

The Lakers head into Thursday as the league's hottest team, winners of eight straight.

But even the champs have had their issues at times this season, mild ones anyway, with a four-game slide and a pair of three-game losing streaks on their resume.

That last three-game slump ended with the embarrassing pre-All-Star-break loss in Cleveland. The Lakers haven't lost since, with five of their eight victories since the break ended coming by double digits.

"The difference between us is that we all know what our roles are," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "They're still trying to figure that out."

Clearly, that's the case. Bibby was added essentially in place of Carlos Arroyo at point guard.James Jones, Eddie House and Zydrunas Ilgauskas have largely fallen out of the rotation at times, and Miami's bench is struggling— getting outscored 41-8 by the Trail Blazers and a stunning 149-51 in the last four games.

"One thing for sure about this team, we won't go down without a fight," Ilgauskas said. "And we'll keep on fighting."

Even Jackson doesn't doubt that one.

"We always say, the close games that you lose, the ones that are really dramatic like that, they'll make up for somewhere along the line," Jackson said. "Somewhere along the line, they might do that. They might be in the playoffs."

And that was about as close Jackson came to tweaking the Heat all day.

Copyright 2011 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 probable
Devin Ebanks (stress fracture, left tibia) is out.
Derek Fisher
(sprained left elbow) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is out.

Udonis Haslem (left foot injury) is out.
Dexter Pittman
(right knee injury) is out.

12/25 - MIA @ LAL L 80-96
03/10 - LAL @ MIA

The Miami Heat are definitely in a different spot than when we saw them on Christmas day. They lost on Tuesday to the Portland TrailBlazers for their fifth loss in a row so we know we will see a desperate team tonight. They will bounce back but we need to make sure they do not bounce back against us. In the game at Staples we shot 40.5% for the game as the Heat beat us 96-80. Offensively, 78% of their points come from their big three (James, Wade, & Bosh) and their bench is the lowest scoring in the league. The general plan is to take at least one of the three out of the equation – a task we failed to do in the Christmas Day loss as James had 27 points, Bosh had 24, and Wade had 18 with 6 assists.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers trail their season-series with Miami 0-1 after splitting last season's series with the Heat 1-1. In their first meeting last season (12/4/09), the Lakers defeated the Heat on a Kobe Bryant one-foot, running bank-shot three-point field goal from the top, left side of the arc at the buzzer. In their second meeting, they fell to the Heat 111-114 in overtime at Miami (3/4/10). In their first meeting this season, the Heat held Los Angeles to a series-low 80 points (12/25/10). This will be the 46th meeting between the two franchises with the Lakers holding a 29-16 all-time lead. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 meetings with the Heat. In Miami, the Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 games. In Los Angeles, the Lakers have gone 7-2 in their last nine home games against Miami and are 8-4 all-time against the Heat at STAPLES Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, Los Angeles is 13-8 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 26 games including 22 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.6 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, LeBron James and Chris Bosh played alongside Kobe Bryant on the gold medal winning US Men's Olympic Basketball Team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In 15 career games against the Lakers, James is averaging 27.8 points per game (417) with his team posting a 9-6 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.

With the Lakers win at Atlanta on March 8th, Phil Jackson earned his 599th career regular season victory in Los Angeles. With one more win, Jackson would become the fifth coach in NBA history to win at least 600 games with one franchise, joining Jerry Sloan (1,127 with Utah), Red Auerbach (795 with Boston), Gregg Popovich (787 with San Antonio) and Red Holzman (613 with New York). Including Jackson, only 22 coaches in NBA history have won 600 career regular season games, let alone with one franchise. Jackson, who established the Lakers franchise record for regular season coaching wins in February of 2010 (534th victory 2/3/10 vs. Charlotte), is the only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (1,144-479, .705). He currently ranks 5th all-time in regular season victories, 11th in regular season games coached, 1st in playoff games coached (323), 1st in playoff games won (225) and 1st in playoff win percentage (.697). The fastest coach to 1,100 victories, Jackson earned induction in his first year of consideration for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was enshrined on September 7, 2007.

In the Lakers March 8th victory at Atlanta, Andrew Bynum posted 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots but despite that physical performance, did not attempt a free throw. In doing so, Bynum was the first Lakers' player in more than 25 years to register at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in a regular-season or playoff game in which he did not go to the charity stripe. The last Laker to post a similar performance without going to the foul line was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game Two of the 1985 NBA Finals at Boston (30 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in a 109-102 win).*

Just over 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 passed Moses Malone (27,409) for 6th on the all-time list with a free throw in the second quarter of the Lakers 3/8 victory at Atlanta. 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 (27,423) are Shaquille O'Neal (5th/28,590), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

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).

In their victory over the Spurs on March 6th at AT&T Center, the Lakers closed out the first quarter with a 26-5 run to take a 34-13 lead en route to a 99-83 victory against San Antonio. This marked only the second time in the Spurs' 36 seasons in the NBA that they were outscored by more than 20 points in the first quarter of a home game. The first was a 122-117 overtime loss to the Rockets in January 1989. Additionally, the Lakers increased their lead to 28 at the half, the first time in which the Spurs have ever trailed by at least 28 points at the half at home in franchise history. The last time the Spurs were down by 28+ points at the half in any game was January 20, 1990 at Denver (Nuggets 69, Spurs 40).*

The Lakers also outscored the Spurs by 29 points with Tim Duncan on the floor, his worst plus/minus since posting a -29 against the Lakers on November 28, 2003. Duncan finished 1-for-7 from the field for the second time this season, the other coming 12/28 against the Lakers as well. Prior to this season, Duncan had only two home games in his entire career in which he had one field goal or less. (ESPN Stats & Information).

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).*

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).*

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 at Miami, Derek Fisher has played in 478 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 356 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.

GASOL'S 30/20
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.

With their 104-80 victory vs. Atlanta on February 22nd, the Lakers recorded their league-leading NINTH 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 (9) lead the NBA in wire-to-wire victories, followed by the Celtics (8), Heat (7), Nuggets (7) and Spurs (7) through games played 3/8/11. 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), Cavaliers (1/11 vs. CLE) and Jazz (1/25 vs. Utah). 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).

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