SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers and Grizzlies split last season’s series 2-2 after the Lakers took the 2009-10 season series from Memphis 2-1. This will be the 61st meeting between the two franchises and the 38th since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis. In that time, the Lakers have lost just two season series to the Grizzlies (2004-05, 2005-06). The Lakers lead the all-time series 44-16 but are just 22-15 versus the Grizzlies since the team moved to Memphis. In their last 10 meetings with Memphis, the Lakers are 7-3 overall but just 3-3 in their last six contests. The Lakers are 4-1 in their last five home games against Memphis, 6-4 in their last 10 and 16-6 all-time at STAPLES Center against the Grizzlies. In Memphis, the Lakers have gone 7-3 in their last 10 road games at FedExForum. In their first meeting of the 2010-11 season, the Lakers scored a series-high 124 points in a 124-105 victory 11/2/10 vs. Memphis. In their last meeting of the 2008-09 season (4/12/09), 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 24.8 points for his career against the Grizzlies (54 games, 47 starts). In 2007-08, Bryant scored an NBA season-high 53 points 3/28/08 vs. Memphis. Four seasons ago in Memphis (3/22/07), Bryant scored a series-high 60 points, becoming only the 3rd player in NBA history to score 50+ 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 10 games against his former team, Pau is averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.50 blocks. 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 6-plus years with Memphis. Also, Lakers forward Josh McRoberts played on the same high school AAU team (Spiece Indy Heat) as Grizzlies guard Mike Conley Jr. (Greg Oden & Daequan Cook were also on team).
In their January 5 loss at Portland, the Lakers struggled to 0-for-11 shooting from behind the three-point arc despite opening the contest connecting on 11 of their first 12 field goals. The zero in the three-point field goals made column marks the first time the Lakers have not made at least one three-point shot since November 16, 2003 vs. Miami when the team combined to go 0-for-9. With 11 attempts and zero made, the Lakers also equaled the franchise record for most three-point field goal attempts without a make, established, ironically, 2/26/83 at Portland (0-11 3FG) and equaled again on 3/9/01 vs. San Antonio (0-11 3FG).
BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 28,000 POINTS; 6th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE
With a free throw at the 10:43 mark of the third quarter January 1st at Denver, Kobe Bryant reached 28,000 points for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 28,000 points in NBA history (33 years, 131 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (34 year, 109 days) who reached the milestone back on December 8, 1970. Michael Jordan (34 years, 333 days), the only other guard in NBA history to score 28,000 points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (34 years, 363 days), Karl Malone (35 years, 212 days), and Shaquille O’Neal (37 years, 319 days) round out the top six. Additionally, in reaching 28,000 points in 1,109 games, Bryant became just the 6th player in NBA history to do so and the 5th fastest in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 28,000, doing so in 825 games, followed by Jordan (886), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,008), Karl Malone (1,070) and Shaquille O’Neal (1,154).
Last season, Bryant reached the 27,000 point milestone with his 28th point January 30 vs. Boston. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 27,000 points in NBA history (32 years, 160 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 202 days) who reached the milestone back on March 11, 1969. Additionally, Bryant became the 8th player in NBA history to score 27,000 points and the 5th fastest to do so (1,069) in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 27,000, doing so in 780 games, followed by Jordan (852), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (965) and Karl Malone (1,035). The youngest player in league history to accumulate 18,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 28,000 points, Bryant was the 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000, 9th fastest to 25,000, 8th fastest to 26,000 points and 5th fastest to 27,000 points in terms of games.
BRYANT NOW 3RD 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 (28,049): 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.