SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers currently trail their season series with the Clippers 0-1 after winning the 2010-11 season series with the Clippers 3-1. The two teams have met 190 times overall and on 124 occasions since the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. The Lakers lead the all-time series 141-49 (95-29 vs. LAC). Overall, the Lakers have lost just two season series in franchise history (1992- 93 & 1974-75) to the Clippers. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games overall against the Clippers. The Lakers are 20-4 all-time against the Clippers in home games at STAPLES Center, are 9-1 in their last 10 home contests and are winners of their last eight straight. On the road against the Clippers, the Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 games as a visitor at STAPLES Center. In their first meeting of last season, Derek Fisher connected on a layup at the buzzer to give the Lakers an 87-86 victory 12/8/10. In 2009-10, for the third time in as many years, the Lakers established a new largest margin of victory against the Clippers since they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles prior to the 1984-85 season, defeating the Clippers by 40 points (126-86) on 1/15/10 (previous largest margin of victories were 38 (117-79, 10/29/09) and 37 (119-82, 3/7/08)). In their meeting on January 21, 2009, Andrew Bynum recorded a career-high 42 points while becoming the first Lakers player other than Kobe Bryant to record 40+ points since 2003. In addition, Bryant posted his 16th career triple-double in that game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. In 58 career games versus the Clippers (50 starts), Bryant is averaging 25.6 points. Additionally, Bryant has posted two 50-point games against the Clippers, most recently 4/12/07 vs. LAC (other: 50 points 1/7/06 @ LAC). Steve Blake posted his first career triple- double (23 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) as a member of the Clippers (4/14/10) in the 2009-10 season finale against the Lakers. Blake averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 assists in 29 games (10 starts) with the Clippers a season ago. Additionally, Clippers forward Caron Butler played the 2004-05 season with the Lakers after being acquired along with Lamar Odom and Brian Grant from Miami in exchange for Shaquille O’Neal in July of 2004. In 77 games, Butler averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.43 steals in 35.7 minutes. He was subsequently traded to Washington in August of 2005 in a deal that brought Kwame Brown to Los Angeles, which ultimately led to the acquisition two and a half years later of Pau Gasol when Brown was sent to Memphis. Also, Clippers forward Brian Cook was drafted by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 4+ seasons with LA.
BRYANT APPROACHES PAIR OF FRANCHISE MILESTONES
Entering the Lakers January 25th game against the Clippers, Kobe Bryant is now just 20 field goals made shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise record (9,935 FGM) and
only 11 free throws made shy of Jerry West’s franchise record (7,160 FTM). Bryant (9,915 FGM / 7,149 FTM) already holds Lakers franchise records for points, games
played, minutes played, field goals attempted and three-point field goals made and attempted while ranking second in steals and free throws attempted and third in assists.
THE CENTURY MARK
Having gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, the common denominator in each contest, win or lose, was that the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points. The last time the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points in 10 consecutive games came during the 2003-04 season when Los Angeles went 12 games from 1/12/04 vs. Cleveland thru 2/2/04 at Indiana without hitting triple digits. The Lakers went 6-6 during the stretch of games, eventually scoring 111 points in a 111-106 overtime victory at Cleveland. The Lakers finished that season with a 98.2 point per game scoring average while limiting their opponents to 94.3 points per game, ultimately winning the West before falling to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. The 98.2 ppg scoring average is the lowest for a Lakers team in the Los Angeles era. In the shot clock era, only the 1954-55 Lakers (the year the shot clock was introduced) have averaged fewer points per game in a season (95.6 ppg).
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 10TH FOREIGN BORN PLAYER TO REACH 14,000-POINT MILESTONE
With a free throw at the 3:54 mark in the second quarter 1/20/12 at Orlando, Pau Gasol became the 10th foreign born player to reach 14,000 points during an NBA career. Only nine other foreign born players have reached the 14,000 career point milestone (active players career totals on 1/20/12): 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).
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).