SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers swept last season’s series with New Jersey 2-0 for the third consecutive
year and have now won seven straight games overall against the Nets. Since the Nets
entered the league prior to the 1976-77 season, the Lakers have lost just four total
season series to New Jersey, the last coming in 2005-06 (0-2). This will be the 75th
meeting between the Lakers and Nets with Los Angeles leading the all-time series 55-
19. The Lakers are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings with New Jersey overall. At STAPLES
Center, the Lakers are 8-4 all-time against the Nets. In New Jersey, the Lakers are 7-3
in their last 10 games and are winners of their last five straight in the Garden State. In
their first meeting of the year in 2008-09, the Lakers defeated the Nets 120-93
11/25/08 at STAPLES Center, with the 27-point differential surpassing the old mark of
25 points (3/24/97) as the Lakers largest margin of victory ever against the Nets. In 23
games including 19 starts against the Nets, Kobe Bryant is averaging 22.4 points, his
second lowest average against any team in the NBA behind Atlanta (22.1). Four
seasons ago, Pau Gasol made his Lakers debut against the Nets, totaling 24 points on
10-of-15 shooting, 12 rebounds and four assists 2/5/08 at New Jersey. Andrew Bynum
was born in Plainsboro, NJ and attended St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, NJ. At
St. Joseph, Bynum averaged 22.0 points, 16.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks as a senior
and was named a 2005 McDonald’s High School All-American. Nets guard Jordan
Farmar played for the Lakers from 2006-10, winning two NBA Championships while
with the team. Farmar was drafted by the Lakers with the 26th selection in the 2006
NBA Draft and averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists in his four seasons in LA. Nets
guard/forward Gerald Green was on the Lakers training camp roster this preseason
and played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League earlier this
season. In 22 games (13 starts) with the D-Fenders, Green averaged 19.1 points (.480
FG%, .458 3FG%) 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while being named to the 2012 NBA
D-League All-Start team and earning All-Star Game MVP honors. Green was calledup by New Jersey in late February and signed with the Nets for the rest of the season.
BRYANT FOUR STEALS SHY OF MAGIC JOHNSON’S FRANCHISE RECORD
Entering today’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant (1,720) stands four steals shy of Magic Johnson’s franchise record 1,724 steals. Johnson, who
twice led the league in steals (1980-81, 1981-82) and posted the third highest single-season steals per game average in NBA history during the 1980-81 season (3.43 spg),
ranks 15th on the NBA’s career steals list. Isiah Thomas (14
/1,861) and Derek Harper (13
/1,957) are next on the all-time list.
With 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers victory over the New Orleans Hornets, Andrew Bynum concluded March averaging 22.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in 17
contests during the month. This was the 30
time in his NBA career that Bynum has played at least five games in a month, but the first where he has averaged at least 20
points per game;his previous high coming in November of 2009 when he averaged 18.0 points in 12 games.*
SATURDAY SCHEDULING QUIRK
In facing the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday, March 31 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers will be playing for the 10th time at home in the regular season on a Saturday
since the start of the 1998-99 lockout shortened season. The game also marks the first non-holiday regular season home game on a Saturday for the Lakers since
defeating the Los Angeles Clippers back on January 17, 2004. The Lakers two most recent Saturday home games fell on Christmas day, with Los Angeles facing the
Miami Heat on 12/25/04 and again on 12/25/10. In all, the Lakers have gone 4-5 in Saturday home games since the start of the 1998-99 season. (4/3/99 vs. GS (76-81, L),
12/25/99 vs. SA (99-93, W), 1/22/00 vs. POR (91-95, L), 4/8/00 vs. SA (80-98, L), 12/1/01 vs. MIN (102-76, W), 2/1/03 vs. UTAH (99-87, W), 1/17/04 vs. LAC (91-89, W),
12/25/04 vs. MIA (102-104, L), 12/25/10 vs. MIA (80-96, L)).
BYNUM ON A ROLL
With 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 25th, Andrew Bynum recorded his fifth career 30+ point game and fourth of the 2011-12
season. Excluding Kobe Bryant, only Pau Gasol has had more 30+ point games in a single season (6, 2008-09) for the Lakers since the start of the 2004-05 season than
Bynum. Bynum’s other 30+ point games include: 33 points (12-of-14 FG (85.7 percent), 9-of-12 FT) against the Utah Jazz on March 18th; 37 points in a double overtime
victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on March 13th on 15-of-18 shooting from the field (83.3 percent) - marking just the fourth time in Lakers history that a player has scored
at least 37 points on better than 83 percent shooting (last Laker to accomplish this was Shaquille O’Neal, who did so back on November 19, 1999 in a victory over the
Bulls); and 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting March 6th in Detroit against the Pistons.
BRYANT 24 POINTS SHY OF MICHAEL JORDAN FOR 2ND 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 (29,253): 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.
SESSIONS MAKES GOOD IMPRESSION IN FIRST START WITH LAKERS
In his first start as a Laker, Ramon Sessions posted 20 points (6-10 FG, 2-3 3FG), 11 assists and six rebounds in 36 minutes to help the Lakers to a 103-96 victory over the
Portland Trail Blazers on March 23. In doing so, Sessions became the first Lakers point guard to post a 20-point/10-assist game since Chucky Atkins tallied 26 points and
10 rebounds in a 105-101 victory over Golden State back on January 21, 2005. Furthermore, Sessions is the first mid-season acquisition with a 20-point/10-assist game for
the Lakers since Lucius Allen had three such games after he was traded by Milwaukee to Los Angeles during the 1974-75 season.
ANDREW BYNUM NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
On March 19, the NBA announced that Andrew Bynum had earned Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 12 through Sunday, March
18, giving him the SECOND WC Player of the Week award of his career. Bynum led the Lakers to a 3-1 week, including back-to-back road wins against Memphis and New
Orleans and a home victory against Minnesota. Averaging 27.5 points and 14.8 rebounds, while shooting 66.5% from the field, Bynum led the Western Conference in
rebounding, placed second in the conference in scoring and finished fourth in the West in field-goal percentage on the week. Bynum collected point-rebound doubledoubles in all four of the Lakers games, including 37 points (15-18 FG) and 16 rebounds 3/13 @ Memphis, 25 points and 19 rebounds 3/14 @ New Orleans and 33 points
(12-14 FG) and 11 rebounds 3/18 vs. Utah. Bynum’s first career WC Player of the Week award was earned back on January 26, 2009, when Bynum averaged 23.5 points,
11.5 rebounds and 2.25 blocks in helping lead the Lakers to a 4-0 week from 1/19/09 to 1/25/09.
BYNUM ON A ROLL
With 33 points (12-of-14 FG (85.7 percent), 9-of-12 FT) against the Utah Jazz on March 18th, Andrew Bynum recorded his fourth career 30+ point game, but third in his last
eight contests. Scoring 37 points in the Lakers double overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on March 13th, going 15-of-18 from the field (83.3 percent), Bynum’s
night marked just the fourth time in Lakers history that a player has scored at least 37 points on better than 83 percent shooting. The last Laker to accomplish this was
Shaquille O’Neal, who did so back on November 19, 1999 in a victory over the Bulls. Bynum’s first 30+ point game of the month came on March 6th in Detroit, when he
scored 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting.
With their 97-92 victory over Minnesota on March 16th, the Lakers recorded their SECOND wire-to-wire victory of the 2011-12 season. Their other wire-to-wire victory
(game in which they never trailed) also came against the Timberwolves (104-85 (2/29)). Last year, the Lakers led the NBA with 10 wire-to-wire victories, all coming during
the regular season. During the team’s two most recent championship runs, they recorded nine wire-to-wire victories in 2009-10 (seven during the regular season and two
during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City)) and 11 wire-to-wire victories in 2008-09 (nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29
vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston)). The Lakers have also lost one game this season in wire-to-wire fashion, falling to the Clippers 102-94 on January 14th. Last year, the
Lakers lost two such games: (98-107 1/8/10 at POR & 75-91 3/26/10 at OKC).
In acquiring Ramon Sessions (25) and Christian Eyenga (22) from Cleveland for Luke Walton (32) and Jason Kapono (31) and Jordan Hill (24) from Houston for Derek
Fisher (37) prior to the March 15 trade deadline, the Lakers average team age saw two years shaved off of it, going from 29 years, 149 days to 27 years, 133 days.
*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau