Lakers-Thunder Game Notes
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers won the season series with Oklahoma City 3-1 after sweeping last
season’s series with the Thunder (3-0) for the second straight year, having gone
4-0 against the Thunder in 2007-08. This was the 5th consecutive season series
victory for the Lakers over the Thunder. The two teams have met 218 times but
just seven times since the Thunder relocated to Oklahoma City prior to the 2008-
09 season. Los Angeles leads the all-time series 134-84. In their most recent
meeting, however, the Lakers lost to the Thunder 75-91 at the Ford Center,
snapping their 12-game win streak over the Thunder and marking their first loss
to Oklahoma City since the team’s relocation from Seattle. The Lakers are 13-2
in their last 15 games against Oklahoma City and have won 12 of their last 13
against the Thunder overall. On the road against the Thunder, the Lakers have
gone 8-2 in their last 10 overall. The Lakers have now played six times during
the regular season at Ford Center in Oklahoma City, going 0-2 against the New
Orleans Hornets while the team was temporarily relocated from 2005-07 but 3-1
against the Thunder. At home, the Lakers have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games
against the Thunder and are 14-8 all-time against Oklahoma City at STAPLES
Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 26-12 against the
Thunder. In 2006-07, Kobe Bryant established a Lakers series record with 46
points 4/6/07 at KeyArena only to surpass it nine days later with 50 points
4/15/07 at home against the then Sonics. In those games, he surpassed the old
mark of 45 points established by himself in January of 2003 and Jerry West in
December of 1970. In 50 career games including 43 starts, Bryant is averaging
25.1 points against the Thunder.
LAKERS vs. OKLAHOMA CITY IN THE POSTSEASON
The Lakers and Thunder have met seven times in the postseason (1978, 1979, 1980, 1987, 1989, 1995 and 1998) with Los Angeles advancing on five occasions (1980, 1987, 1989, 1995, 1998). The Lakers have won their last five straight playoff series versus the Thunder. The Lakers are 1-1 in the First Round against Oklahoma City, defeating the Thunder in 1995 (3-1) but losing in 1978 (1-2). Los Angeles has gone 2-1 against the Thunder in the Conference Semifinals, winning in 1998 (4-1) and 1989 (4-0) but dropping the 1979 series (1-4). In Conference Finals matchups, the Lakers are 2-0, defeating the Thunder in both 1987 (4-0) and 1980 (4-1). Overall, the Lakers are 24-11 all-time against the Thunder in the postseason, going 15-2 at home and 9-9 on the road.
CLOSING IT OUT
Leading their First Round series with the Thunder 3-2, the Lakers will play their first close-out game of the 2010 Playoffs April 30 at Oklahoma City. Last season, with a 3-1 series lead entering Game 5 of the 2009 NBA Finals at Orlando, the Lakers defeated the Magic 99-86 to win their 15th NBA Championship. With the victory, the Lakers closed out an opponent on the FIRST attempt for the 6th time in their last seven opportunities. Last postseason, the Lakers closed out the Jazz, Nuggets and the Magic on the FIRST opportunity but needed two attempts to eliminate the Rockets from the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers Game 6 loss at Houston was just the THIRD time since 2001 that they have failed to close out an opponent when first given the chance (5/14/09 @ Houston, 5/2/06 @ Phoenix, 5/29/04 @ Minnesota). The Lakers have closed out an opponent on the FIRST try 17 times in their last 20 opportunities dating back to 2001. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have closed out their opponent on the first attempt 17 times in 24 overall opportunities.
Overall, under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 23-11 in close-out games. The Lakers have won 28 of their last 29 series when holding the opportunity to close- out at any point. Their last series loss when having a close-out game came in 2006 when the Lakers squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, the Lakers had not lost a series when having a close-out game since the 1993 First Round vs. Phoenix in which they led 2-0 before losing the next three.
LAKERS IN BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES (Includes NBA Finals series)
The Lakers are 68-29 in best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (62-28 Los Angeles, 6-1 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 64-34 in Game 1 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (60-31 Los Angeles, 4-3 Minneapolis)
When winning Game 1 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 56-7. (52-7 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 57-41 in Game 2 of best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (54-37 Los Angles, 3-4 Minneapolis)
When winning both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 39-1 all-time. (38-1 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 58-40 in Game 3 of a best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (53-38 Los Angeles, 5-2 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 47-51 in Game 4 of a best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (44-47 Los Angeles, 3-4 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 49-30 in Game 5 of a best-of-seven series (any round) all-time. (45-28 Los Angeles, 4-2 Minneapolis)
When winning Game 5 of a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 41-7 all-time. (37-7 Los Angeles, 4-0 Minneapolis)
LAKERS IN GAME 5 OF A BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES TIED 2-2
In best-of-seven series tied at 2-2, the Lakers are now 25-6 in Game 5 (any round) all-time. (22-6 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis)
When tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven series (any round), the Lakers are 22-8. (19-8 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis)
When winning Game 5 of a best-of-seven series tied at 2-2, the Lakers are 20-4 all-time. (17-4 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis)
The Lakers are now 18-0 all-time in HOME Game 5’s of a best-of-seven series tied at 2-2. (17-0 Los Angeles, 1-0 Minneapolis). In those series, the Lakers are 16-
1 all-time, with their only loss coming in the 1969 NBA Finals vs. Boston.
The Lakers have not lost a 2-2 best-of-seven series when winning Game 5 since the 1969 NBA Finals vs. Boston (14 in a row).
LAKERS IN GAME 6
This will be the Lakers 49th Game 6. The Lakers are 27-21 in Game 6 (any round) all-time. (24-18 Los Angeles, 3-3 Minneapolis)
In series that go at least six games, the Lakers are 35-13 all-time. (30-12 Los Angeles, 5-1 Minneapolis)
When winning Game 6,the Lakers are 24-3 all-time. (21-3 Los Angeles, 3-0 Minneapolis)
The Lakers most recent Game 6 victory came against the Denver Nuggets in the 2009 Western Conference Finals.
When losing Game 6,the Lakers are 11-10 all-time. (9-9 Los Angeles, 2-1 Minneapolis).
Their two most recent series victories when losing Game 6 came in the 2000 Western Conference Finals with a Game 7 victory over the Trail Blazers in Los
Angeles and in the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals with a Game 7 home victory over the Rockets.
When leading a series 3-2, the Lakers are 32-5 (any round) all-time (27-4 LosAngeles, 5-1 Minneapolis).
When leading a series 3-2, the Lakers are 21-16 in Game 6 (18-13 Los Angeles, 3-3 Minneapolis). Of their 16 losses, 11 have been on the road and five at home
(2006 vs. Phoenix, 1962 vs. Boston, 1961 vs. St. Louis, 1960 vs. St. Louis, 1954 vs. Syracuse).
When leading a series 3-2, the Lakers are 11-11 in Game 6 on the ROAD (11-10 Los Angeles, 0-1 Minneapolis).
The Lakers have closed out opponents on the road in two of their last three attempts: 5/29/09 @ DEN (W), 5/14/09 @ HOU (L), 5/16/08 @ UTAH (W).
With their 111-87 victory over Oklahoma City April 27th, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second time in their First Round series with the Thunder, having also led wire-to-wire in their 87-79 Game 1 victory on April 18th. The victory marks the 9th wire-to-wire victory of the 2009-10 season for the Lakers (7 regular, 2 playoff). Through the First Round of this year’s playoffs, there have been SIX wire-to-wire victories to date (games thru 4/27/10), with the Lakers posting TWO of them. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories this season came 11/8 vs. NO (104-88), 11/28 @ GS (130-97), 12/6 vs. PHX (108-88), 1/5 vs. HOU (88-79), 1/10 vs. MIL (95-77), 2/10 @ UTAH (96-81) and 3/21 vs. WAS (99-92). Last season, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed), posting nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Additionally, the Lakers were one of only two teams last season (Cleveland) to never lose in wire-to- wire fashion during the regular season. In the playoffs, however, the Lakers played two games in which they never led, falling twice to Houston in the Conference Semis (5/10/09 at HOU and 5/14/09 at HOU). This season, the Lakers have lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).
BRYANT MOVES PAST JERRY WEST FOR 1st ON LAKERS ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SCORING LIST; 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME LIST
With a fade away jumper at the 8:58 mark of the third quarter April 22 at Oklahoma City, Kobe Bryant moved past Jerry West (4,457) for 1st on the Lakers all-time playoff scoring list and 5th on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. Last postseason, with 32 points 5/21 vs. Denver, Bryant (4,490) moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4,070) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time playoff scoring list. Overall, in the 2009 Playoffs, Bryant moved past Larry Bird (3,897) for 6th, past John Havlicek (3,776) for 7th, past Hakeem Olajuwon (3,755) for 8th and past Earvin “Magic” Johnson (3,701) for 9th the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list and 3rd on the Lakers franchise playoff scoring list. Next up on the all-time NBA list is Karl Malone (4th/4,761). Among all players with 2,500+ postseason points, only Michael Jordan (33.4), Jerry West (29.1), Elgin Baylor (27.0), Hakeem Olajuwon (25.9) and Dirk Nowitzki (25.5) have a higher postseason scoring average than Bryant (24.9).
JACKSON-LED TEAMS UNDEFEATED AFTER WINNING GAME 1
When Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any playoff series, best-of-five or best-of-seven, his teams are 44-0, having gone 24-0 with Chicago and 20-0 with the Lakers.
JACKSON-LED TEAMS A TOUGH OUT WHEN LEADING A PLAYOFF SERIES
When holding a series lead of any kind, Phil Jackson, currently in his 19th postseason as a head coach, is 51-1 all-time. Overall, Jackson owns a 212-93 postseason record, with his 212 victories being the most of any NBA coach in playoff history. Additionally, Jackson’s 305 career playoff games are also the most of any coach in playoff history, while his .695 postseason win percentage is tops among all coaches as well. Currently at 101 playoff victories with the Lakers, Jackson is ONE win shy of Pat Riley (102) for most playoff victories in Lakers franchise history. With the Lakers 2009 NBA Championship, Jackson (10 as head coach, 2 as player) surpassed legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach for most championships won by a head coach while also passing fellow Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell (11) for most championships won by a player/coach. Should the Lakers reach the NBA Finals this season, it will be the 13th time he has taken a team to the final round, tying him with NHL coaching legend Scotty Bowman for most trips to the finals in a major pro sport played in the U.S.
THIRTY-ONE TOO MANY
In their 96-101 loss at Oklahoma City April 22, the Lakers attempted a playoff franchise-high tying 31 three-point field goals (10-31, .323) for the 3rd time in franchise history, falling to 0-3 in those games. The Lakers shot 9-of-31 (.290) on three-pointers 5/25/09 in a 101-120 loss at Denver in Game 4 of the 2009 Conference Finals. Los Angeles also attempted 31 three-point field goals (10-31, .323) 5/24/02 in a 90-103 loss to the Sacramento Kings in Game 3 of the 2002 Conference Finals.
OPENING ROUND HISTORY (Los Angeles era only)
The Lakers have opened the Playoffs in the FIRST Round 38 times and in the SECOND round on seven occasions (1962, 63, 65, 66, 80, 82, 83) since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. The Lakers have won 35-of-45 opening playoff series over that span and are now 135-69 (.662) in opening round games. In Game 1’s of their first postseason series, the Lakers are now 34-12. When the Lakers have had home-court advantage in the opening round, they have posted a 32-2 series record. When winning Game 1 in the opening round, the Lakers have a series record of 32-1. Their lone loss came to the Phoenix Suns (2-3) in 1993. With their victory over the Thunder in Game 1 of the First Round on April 18, Phil Jackson-led teams (Bulls and Lakers) improved to 15-0 when opening their postseason at home.
HOW CHAMPIONS HAVE FARED THE NEXT SEASON
Since the NBA’s inaugural season in 1946-47, 20 of 63 winners of the NBA Finals have followed their championship seasons by winning the NBA Finals. Among the other 43 teams, nine lost in the NBA Finals, 17 lost in the Conference Finals, 10 lost in the Conference Semifinals, five lost in the First Round and two failed to make the playoffs.
THREE OR MORE CONSECUTIVE VISITS TO THE FINALS
Since the NBA’s inaugural season in 1946-47, 11 teams have advanced to the NBA Finals three or more consecutive seasons with the Lakers doing so on five separate occasions (1952-54; 1968-79; 1982-85; 1987-89; 2000-02). Among the other teams to advance to three or more consecutive Finals, only the Celtics did so more than three straight seasons (New York: 1951-53; Boston: 1958-66; Boston: 1984-87; Detroit: 1988-90; Chicago: 1990-92; Chicago: 1996-98).