SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers took last season’s series with Portland 3-1, marking their first season series victory against the Trail Blazers since 2004-05 and overall, just the third since 1989 (2004-05: 2-1 and 1992-93: 3-2). This will be the 200th meeting between the Trail Blazers and Lakers with Los Angeles leading the all-time series 112-87. The Lakers are 5-5 against the Trail Blazers in their last 10 overall games. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 17-5 against the Trail Blazers all-time and have won 7-of-their- last-8 in Los Angeles. Despite snapping a 9-game losing streak at the Rose Garden in February of 2010 (2/6/10 at Portland, first win there since 2/23/05), the Lakers are still just 4-16 in their last 20 regular season games in Rip City including a 2-8 mark in their last 10. In recent series history, the Lakers held the Blazers to their lowest scoring total in series history with a 96-76 opening night victory in 2008 (10/28/08). In 2006-07, Kobe Bryant scored 65 points March 16 at STAPLES Center, surpassing his own series record of 50 points established at home back on April 14, 2006 (the same day Bryant surpassed Elgin Baylor’s single-season franchise scoring record of 2,719 points). In 52 career games against Portland including 46 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.3 points against the Blazers. In his last 21 regular season games against the Blazers, however, Bryant has upped his average against Portland to 31.6 points per game (663).
BYNUM RECORDS FIRST CAREER 20-20 GAME
On January 3rd, Andrew Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center. Despite falling one rebound shy of equaling his career-high (23, 4/5/11 vs. Utah), Bynum recorded his first career 20-point, 20-rebound game (2nd career 20+ rebound game), becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days old. The last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.
BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 28,000 POINTS; 6th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE
With a free throw at the 10:43 mark of the third quarter January 1st at Denver, Kobe Bryant reached 28,000 points for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 28,000 points in NBA history (33 years, 131 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (34 year, 109 days) who reached the milestone back on December 8, 1970. Michael Jordan (34 years, 333 days), the only other guard in NBA history to score 28,000 points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (34 years, 363 days), Karl Malone (35 years, 212 days), and Shaquille O’Neal (37 years, 319 days) round out the top six. Additionally, in reaching 28,000 points in 1,109 games, Bryant became just the 6th player in NBA history to do so and the 5th fastest in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 28,000, doing so in 825 games, followed by Jordan (886), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,008), Karl Malone (1,070) and Shaquille O’Neal (1,154).
Last season, Bryant reached the 27,000 point milestone with his 28th point January 30 vs. Boston. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 27,000 points in NBA history (32 years, 160 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 202 days) who reached the milestone back on March 11, 1969. 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). The youngest player in league history to accumulate 18,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 28,000 points, Bryant was the 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, 8th fastest to 26,000 points and 5th fastest to 27,000 points in terms of games.
BRYANT NOW 3RD ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
During the 2009-10 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 (28,049): Karl Malone (1st/36,374) and Michael Jordan (2nd/29,277). Last season, Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,511) 12/19/10 at Toronto and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago into third on this list.