SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead the current season series with Memphis 1-0 after taking last season's series from Memphis 2-1. This will be the 58th meeting between the two franchises and the 35th since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis. The Lakers lead the all-time series 43-14 but are just 21-13 versus the Grizzlies since the team moved to Memphis. In their last 10 meetings with Memphis, the Lakers are 8-2 and have won 7 of their last 8 overall. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 home games against Memphis and are 16-5 all-time at STAPLES Center against the Grizzlies. In Memphis, the Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 road games but have won five of their last six at FedExForum. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 29-10 against the Grizzlies. In their first meeting of the 2010- 11 season, the Lakers scored an all-time series high 124 points in a 124-105 victory on 11/2/10. In their last meeting of the 2008-09 season 4/12/09 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers held Memphis to a series low 75 points, surpassing the old record of 79 points (2/14/05 @ MEM). Individually, Kobe Bryant is averaging 24.7 points for his career against the Grizzlies (51 games, 44 starts). In 2007-08, Bryant scored an NBA season- high 53 points 3/28/08 at STAPLES Center. Four seasons ago on 3/22/07 in Memphis, Bryant scored a series-high 60 points, becoming only the 3rd player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in three consecutive games. Additionally, the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol from Memphis in exchange for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie and the draft rights to his brother, Marc Gasol, on February 1, 2008. On December 22, 2008, the brothers Gasol faced off in the NBA for the first time, with Pau (15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks) bettering his brother Marc's line (8 points,7 rebounds). In seven games against his former team, Pau is averaging 16.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Both brothers played for Spain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Pau remains the franchise leader in a number of statistical categories, including points (8,966), rebounds (4,096) and blocks (877), in six-plus years with Memphis.
THIRD TIME'S A CHARM
With their loss to Indiana on November 28th, the Lakers dropped their second consecutive game; the second time this season they have lost consecutive games. Since the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol on February 1, 2008, the Lakers have now lost consecutive games 18 times (13 regular season, 5 playoff streaks).
Of the 18 two-game skids, only once have the Lakers dropped three straight with consecutive losses 3/4 at Miami, 3/5 at Charlotte and 3/7 at Orlando (their only three- game losing streak since January of 2008). On four occasions, the Lakers played the third game of the streak without Gasol, snapping each of them with victories 3/18/08 at Dallas, 3/30/08 vs. Washington in overtime, 11/17/09 vs. Detroit and 1/10/10 vs. Milwaukee. Prior to their 3-game skid, the Lakers last three-game losing streak came just a week before the trade, with consecutive losses at San Antonio, at Dallas and vs. Cleveland from 1/23/08 through 1/27/08.
Among Phil Jackson's 11 championship teams, only the 1990-91 Bulls (3-game losing streak: 11/2/90 – 11/6/90), the 2001-02 Lakers (3 game losing streak: 2/15/02 – 2/19/02) and 2009-10 Lakers (3 game losing streak: 3/4/10 – 3/7/10) have suffered 3-game losing streaks.
With 41 points November 28th versus Indiana, Kobe Bryant scored 40+ points for the 105th time (regular season) in his NBA career. Bryant last topped the 40-point mark in the regular season back on February 1, 2010 at Memphis when he scored 44 points while passing Jerry West to become the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Last season, Bryant eclipsed the 40-point mark eight times, with the Lakers going 7-1 in those games. In the history of the NBA, only two players have more career 40-point games: Wilt Chamberlain (271) and Michael Jordan (173). The Lakers are now 72-33 all-time in games that Bryant scores 40+ points. Bryant holds the Lakers franchise record for 40- point games in a single season, recording 27 during the 2005-06 campaign. Bryant also holds the franchise record for most consecutive 40-point games (9), established during the 2002-03 season. Only Wilt Chamberlain (14 twice, 10 once) has had longer consecutive 40-point game streaks in league history than Bryant.
Tuesday's game at Memphis is the first of a back-to-back set with the Grizzlies and Rockets. This season, the Lakers are 2-0 in the first game and 2-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.
BRYANT 5th ON NBA FRANCHISE CAREER POINTS LIST
With his 29th point February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. Additionally, having scored all his points with the Lakers, Bryant moved to sixth on the NBA's franchise career points list. On February 24, 2010 at Dallas, Bryant moved past Reggie Miller (25,279) for 5th on this list. To date, only four players in league history have scored more points for a single franchise than Bryant.
GASOL'S PERFECT SHOOTING NIGHT
With 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line, Pau Gasol became just the third player in the NBA's shot clock era to record a perfect shooting night from the field and the line with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. The only other players to accomplish this rare feat are Gary Payton in January of 1995 (32 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists (14-14 FG, 3-3 FT)) and Charles Barkley in March of 1989 (31 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists (10-10 FG, 9-9 FT)). Additionally, Gasol became the fifth Laker in franchise history to convert at least 10 field goals without a miss in a single game and the first to do so since Byron Scott went 10-for-10 2/26/86 at Dallas. Wilt Chamberlain converted a franchise record 14-of-14 field goals without a miss 3/11/69 vs. Detroit with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (11-11 FG twice) and Mitch Kupchak (11-11 FG) rounding out the list.
Entering the Lakers game at Memphis, Derek Fisher has played in 430 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 628 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 308 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.
SHUTTING IT DOWN EARLY
In the Lakers victory 11/17 at Detroit, Kobe Bryant scored 33 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The 33 points are the most Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play in the fourth quarter or overtime since Feb. 23, 2007 against the Celtics. In that contest, Bryant scored 38 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The most points Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play the fourth quarter came on Dec. 20, 2005 when he posted 62 points in 33 minutes vs. Dallas (18-31 FG, 22-25 FT). Bryant established a franchise record for points in a quarter with 30 in the third of that contest, single-handedly outscoring the entire Mavericks team 62-61 through three quarters.
BARNES JOINS BARKLEY FOR UNIQUE DISTINCTION
With 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists 11/19 at Minnesota on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, Matt Barnes joined Charles Barkley as the only other player in NBA history to post a minimum 20-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist night while not missing a single shot, with a minimum of 5 field goal attempts AND 5 free throw attempts. Barkley posted 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists on a perfect 10-of-10 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free throw line in a 135-122 victory over the Spurs back on March 24, 1989 with the 76ers. Ironically, just one game later, Pau Gasol became the third player in NBA history to do so, posting 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists on 10-of-10 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 shooting from the foul line in the Lakers victory 11/21 vs. Golden State.
PERFECT NIGHT FOR BARNES
In the Lakers 112-95 victory 11/19 at Minnesota, Matt Barnes came off the bench to score 24 points on a perfect night from the field and free-throw line (7-7 FG, 5-5 3FG, 5-5 FT). Since the NBA instituted the three-point shot prior to the 1979-80 season, only two other bench players have been perfect from the free-throw line and from three- point range with at least five attempts in each category in the same game. New Jersey's Bostjan Nachbar shot 6-for-6 from three-point range and 5-for-5 from the free- throw line on 4/15/07 and Craig Ehlo shot 5-for-5 from three-point range and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe for Atlanta on 1/30/96.