SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers and Nuggets have split their first two meetings this season (1-1) with two
meetings still remaining. The Lakers dropped last season’s series to Denver (1-2) as
well as the 2009-10 series (1-3), marking only the second time the Lakers have lost
consecutive season series to the Nuggets (1977-78, 1978-79). The two teams have
met 148 times in the regular season with the Lakers leading the all-time series 96-52.
The Lakers are 4-6 in their last 10 regular season meetings with the Nuggets. At
STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 19-4 against the Nuggets all-time (7-3 in their last
10). In Denver, the Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 road games at Pepsi Center. In the
postseason, the Lakers and Nuggets have met five times with the Lakers advancing on
each occasion, most recently defeating Denver 4-2 in the 2009 Western Conference
Finals. The Lakers are 17-4 overall against the Nuggets in postseason games (9-2
home, 8-2 road). Additionally, the Lakers won 11 straight playoff games against the
Nuggets from 5/17/85 – 5/19/09, the 2nd longest postseason win streak against one
team in NBA history behind the Lakers 12-game win streak versus Seattle from 1980-
89. In 55 career regular season games including 46 starts against the Nuggets, Kobe
Bryant is averaging 25.3 points. Bryant established the series record for points in a
game (51) in February of 2003 but was tied by Allen Iverson in 2007-08 when he
scored 51 points in the Lakers 111-107 victory at Pepsi Center on December 14, 2007.
Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo attended high school locally at Compton Centennial and
played collegiately at UCLA while Denver guard Rudy Fernandez played for Spain
internationally along with Pau Gasol. Fernandez was on the 2008 Olympic silver
medal team with Gasol while both also played together on the gold medal winning
Spanish 2006 FIBA World Championships team. Nuggets head coach George Karl
(senior) and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak (freshman) played one season together at the
University of North Carolina (1972-73).
GONE FOR THE GRAMMY’S
On Thursday, February 2nd, the Lakers headed to Denver, embarking on their annual Grammy’s Trip. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-2000 season, the venue has been host to the Grammy Awards each winter, with the exception of the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden
||2/15 - 2/23
||2/13 - 2/21
||2/21 - 2/27
||Grammy Awards Held at Madison Square Garden
||2/1 - 2/11
||2/6 - 2/13
||1/29 - 2/8
||1/30 - 2/11
||1/31 - 2/13
||1/30 - 2/8
||1/21 - 2/1
||2/5 - 2/16
BRYANT 69 POINTS SHY OF 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 (28,527) 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).
Leading for all but 26 seconds of their January 29th victory at Minnesota, the Lakers managed their second road win of the season despite not recording a single steal for
only the second time in franchise history. The only other game in which the Lakers did not record a steal came in a January 7, 2005 victory over Houston (111-104). Since
the steals statistic began being compiled prior to the 1973-74 season, this was the 47th time a team has not recorded a single steal in a game. With the lack of steals, the
Lakers saw the Timberwolves match an opponent franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game (4), originally established in a 108-114 loss 114 loss 12/21/01 at Memphis.
BRYANT BECOMES FRANCHISE LEADER IN FREE THROWS MADE & FIELD GOALS MADE ON BACK-TO-BACK NIGHTS
With a free throw at the 6:34 mark in the third quarter 1/28/12 at Milwaukee, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West (7,160 FTM) as the Lakers franchise leader in free throws
made. The following night, on a driving reverse layup with 4:52 remaining in the first half 1/29/12 at Minnesota, Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (9,935 FGM) as the
franchise leader in field goals made. Bryant now holds Lakers franchise records for points, field goals made and attempted, free throws made, three-point field goals made
and attempted, games played and minutes played while ranking second in steals and free throws attempted and third in assists.
THE CENTURY MARK
Having gone 7-6 over a 13-game span from 1/5 at Portland thru 1/28 at Milwaukee, the common denominator in each contest, win or lose, was that the Lakers scored fewer
than 100 points. The 13-game run of sub 100-point scoring games is the longest streak in franchise history since the introduction of the shot clock prior to the 1954-55
season. Prior to the aforementioned streak, the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points in 12 consecutive games during the 2003-04 season when Los Angeles went 12
games from 1/12/04 - 2/2/04 without hitting triple digits; the Lakers went 6-6 during the stretch of games, eventually scoring 111 points in a 111-106 overtime victory 2/4/04
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 have averaged fewer points per game in a season (95.6 ppg). Additionally, the only other Lakers 10-game run without scoring at least 100 points in a
game came in 2002 (11/3/02 – 11/22/02), with the Lakers going 3-7 during that stretch.