SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers split last season’s series with the Magic 1-1 for the second consecutive
year. In 2008-09, the Lakers lost a season series to the Magic (0-2) for the first time in
series history but went on to defeat them in the 2009 NBA Finals (4-1). The Magic and
Lakers have met 45 times in the regular season with Los Angeles holding a 32-13
advantage in the all-time series. The Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 overall meetings
with Orlando. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 10-2 all-time against the Magic in
regular season contests. In Orlando, the Lakers have lost their last three straight but
are 5-5 against the Magic in their last 10 regular season meetings. In 26 games
against Orlando including 22 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 25.0 points. In the Magic
and Lakers first meeting of the 2008-09 season on December 20 in Orlando, Bryant
scored 41 points to equal his own Lakers-Magic series record established during the
2004-05 season when he scored 41 points on November 12, 2004. Former Laker
Shaquille O’Neal holds the Magic high mark against the Lakers with 46 points back in
March of 1995. In their first meeting of last season, the Lakers were held to a series
low 75 points in an 89-75 loss 2/13/11 at Orlando. Bryant snapped a four-year drought
in recording his first triple-double since 2005 with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11
assists against the Magic on 1/16/09. The Lakers defeated the Magic in five games
during the 2009 NBA Finals, marking the first time the two teams have met in the
playoffs. Lakers forward Matt Barnes averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during the
2009-10 season as a member of the Orlando Magic. Magic guard Von Wafer was
drafted by the Lakers in the second round (39th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft. Wafer
appeared in 16 games with the Lakers during the 2005-06, averaging 1.3 in 4.6
minutes with a high game of nine.
BUMP IN THE ROAD
While opening the season with a 9-1 mark at home, the Lakers are now 1-5 in away games this season, their worst road start since the 2002-03 season, when they opened
the season 1-8 on the road, playing their first seven road games without injured center Shaquille O’Neal, who was sidelined after having toe surgery. That season marked
their worst one-win road record since the team moved to Los Angeles. The 1958-59 Minneapolis Lakers also started the season with a 1-8 road record, after the 1957-58
Minneapolis Lakers started the season with a franchise worst 1-15 road record. This season, the Lakers were 0-3 on the road before earning an overtime victory at Utah
on January 11. The Lakers last opened a season with three consecutive road losses in 1995-96, eventually falling to 0-4 away from home before earning their first road
win. Since the end of neutral site games prior to the 1973-74 season, the Lakers have now opened their schedule with three or more consecutive road losses five times:
2011-12 (0-3), 1995-96 (0-4), 1993-94 (0-6), 1984-85 (0-4) and 1978-79 (0-4).
GASOL THREE POINTS SHY OF 14,000,
WOULD BE 1OTH FOREIGN BORN PLAYER TO REACH MILESTONE
With a season-high 26 points (11-19 FG) January 19 at Miami, Pau Gasol is now three points shy of 14,000 for his career. Only nine other foreign born players have
reached the 14,000 career point milestone: Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946 / Nigeria), Dominique Wilkins (26,668 / France), Patrick Ewing (24,815 / Jamaica), Dirk Nowitzki
(23,072 / Germany), Tim Duncan (21,854 / U.S. Virgin Islands), Rolando Blackman (17,623 / Panama), Steve Nash (16,073 / South Africa), Kiki Vandeweghe (15,980 /
Germany) and Detlef Schrempf (15,761 / West Germany).
Known for his clutch shooting, Derek Fisher delivered once again for the Lakers in their 73-70 victory over Dallas on January 16th, this time in game-winning fashion with a
three-pointer from the right side of the arc with 3.1 seconds remaining. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the stat began being tracked prior to the 2000-01
season, Fisher now has SIX game winning field goals, five in the regular season and one in the playoffs (FGM in last 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime). Only
three, however, have actually come with the Lakers: the three-pointer vs. Dallas this season, a running three-foot layup high off the glass as the buzzer sounded to give the
Lakers an 87-86 victory 12/8/10 at LA Clippers last season and his famous 0.4 second buzzer beater 5/13/04 at San Antonio (74-73 win). Fisher’s other game winners
came with Utah (2/10/07 vs. NY (104-102 win) and Golden State (3/25/05 vs. MIL (118-117 win), 12/28/05 vs. BOS (111-109 win)).
In 2009-10, teammate Kobe Bryant famously connected on six game-winners; the most game winning field goals of any player in a single season over the last decade-plus
(Carmelo Anthony ranks second on this list with five game-winning field goals in 2005-06). Since the start of the 2000-01 season, Bryant has 20 field goals that have given
his team the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime, the most in the league over that span.
BRYANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 30th TIME, SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK
Averaging a league-high 43.0 points on 50.4% shooting, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.00 steals while helping the Lakers to a 3-1 record, Kobe Bryant earned his
SECOND WC Player of the week award this season for games played Monday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 15. It is the second consecutive week Bryant has won the
award, also earning the honor for games played Monday, Jan. 2 through Sunday, Jan. 8 when he averaged a league-high 33.0 points on 49.5% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and
6.3 assists while helping the Lakers to a 3-1 record. The award is the 30th of Bryant’s career (28 Western Conference POW, 2 NBA POW), further surpassing Magic
Johnson’s 18 NBA POW awards as the franchise’s all-time leader. Johnson, however, earned each of his Player of the Week nods before the award was separated by
Conference prior to the 2001-02 season. Bryant’s other WC POW honors came in weeks ending: 11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04,
3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/28/08, 1/11/09, 3/15/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09, 12/27/09, 3/27/11 and
1/8/12. His two NBA Player of the Week honors came in weeks ending 4/16/00 and 12/24/00. The NBA began the Player of the Week award in 1979-80.
BRYANT AMONG 20 FINALISTS FOR 2012 U.S. OLYMPIC MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM
On Monday, January 16, Kobe Bryant was named as one of 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo .
The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year. Bryant is one of eight 2008 Olympic gold medalists in the final 20 along with 10 members of
the 2010 USA World Championship gold medal winning team. Others named as finalists in addition to Bryant include: LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony
(Knicks); Chauncey Billups (Clippers); Chris Bosh (Heat); Tyson Chandler (Knicks); Kevin Durant (Thunder); Rudy Gay (Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Hornets); Blake Griffin
(Clippers); Dwight Howard (Magic); Andre Iguodala (76ers); LeBron James (Heat); Kevin Love (Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Mavericks); Chris Paul (Clippers); Derrick
Rose (Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Heat); Russell Westbrook (Thunder); and Deron Williams (Nets). The 2012 USA coaching staff is led by Duke Hall of Fame coach Mike
Krzyzewski. Serving as assistants are Syracuse Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni, and Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.
KOBE BRYANT LEADS WESTERN CONFERENCE AFTER FIRST ROUND OF ALL-STAR BALLOTING
On January 12th, the NBA announced its FIRST returns of 2012 NBA All-Star balloting with Kobe Bryant (690,613) LEADING all Western Conference players in All-Star
voting while ranking second league-wide behind Dwight Howard (754,737). Pau Gasol (185,428), who made his fourth All-Star team last season as a reserve, ranks 4th
among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (633,538), Blake Griffin (394,264) and Dirk Nowitzki (231,832). Andrew Bynum (496,597) leads all West centers, with
DeAndre Jordan (134,961) and Marc Gasol (102,116) ranked second and third respectively. Chris Paul (540,173) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the
East, LeBron James (640,789) and Carmelo Anthony (496,351) lead all forwards in voting, Derrick Rose (640,476) and Dwyane Wade (637,912) are the top two votegetters at guard and Howard leads all centers in balloting.
In each of the last four seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998,
received 2,380,016 votes to lead all players in balloting, the second time in his career he has done so (2003). In 2009-10, 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 four-time All-Star
MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix, 2011 Los Angeles), Bryant is a 13-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing
the 2009-10 contest due to a sprained left ankle. Gasol has made four All-Star appearances (2006, 2009-11) and in 2009, became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be
named to an All-Star team. Bynum has yet to make an All-Star Team, finishing 2nd among West centers (974,546) a year ago behind Yao Ming (1,146,426).
BRYANT NEARING SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,144) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), 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. In 2009-10, 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).