SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers currently lead their season series with the Suns 1-0, after winning last
season’s series with Phoenix 3-1 for the fourth consecutive season. This will be the
219th meeting between the two teams with the Lakers leading the all-time series
129-89. The Lakers are 18-7 against the Suns all-time at STAPLES Center during
the regular season and 7-3 in their last 10 regular season home games against
Phoenix. On the road, the Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 regular season visits
to Phoenix but are 6-2 in their last eight regular season games at US Airways Center.
Most recently, the Lakers defeated the Suns 99-83 behind an NBA season-high 48
points from Kobe Bryant (his highest scoring output in any game in which he did not
make a three-point field goal). Last season, the Lakers defeated the Suns in triple
overtime at STAPLES Center back on March 22, 2011. The three-overtime contest
was just the second ever in Los Angeles (1-1), fourth since the team moved West
prior to the 1960-61 season (2-2) and tied for the second longest game in franchise
history behind a quadruple overtime loss in January of 1980 at Cleveland. In 54
career games against the Suns including 47 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 26.4
points. In February of 2009, Bryant shared MVP honors with then Sun Shaquille
O’Neal at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. Bryant and Suns guard Steve
Nash were both selected in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant going 13th overall to
Charlotte and Nash two picks later to Phoenix. Derek Fisher was also in that draft,
taken by the Lakers with the 24th overall pick. Also, Lakers forward Luke Walton and
Suns center Channing Frye were teammates at the University of Arizona for two
seasons (2001-02, 2002-03). Suns guard Shannon Brown joined the Lakers midway
through the 2008-09 season and was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Lakers
championship teams. Over 182 games, Brown averaged 7.9 points (.346 3FG) and
2.0 rebounds in 18.7 minutes while competing in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
during All-Star Weekend.
GUARDS WITH 6,000 CAREER REBOUNDS
Entering the Lakers February 17th contest against the Suns with 5,996 career rebounds, Kobe Bryant is four rebounds shy from becoming the ninth guard in NBA history to
accumulate 6,000 rebounds (includes players listed as G, G/F or F/G). Jason Kidd, the only guard in league history to amass 8,000 rebounds, tops the list, with Oscar
Robertson (G), Scottie Pippen (F/G) and Chet Walker (F/G) the only other guards to post at least 7,000+ rebounds. Magic Johnson (6,559) leads all Lakers guards in
career rebounds while Michael Jordan is another notable guard on the list with 6,672 career rebounds.
BRYANT PASSES SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the 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 (28,601) are 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).
BYNUM RECORDS SECOND CAREER 20-20 GAME
On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+
rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated
the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, 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. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. 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.
DOMINATING THE GLASS, BUT LOSING THE GAME
In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their
opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost
when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.