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The Lakers' Top Halloween Moments
When it comes to Halloween, the Lakers are as scary as they come in the NBA, having compiled a 11-4 record on October 31 since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.
The purple and gold enjoyed a six-game Halloween winning streak from 1980-2010, and many of the franchise’s top players have treated fans to some memorable holiday performances.
Lakers On Halloween (Since Moving to Los Angeles)
|1962||New York||W 115-95|
|1971||Golden State||L 109-105|
|1979||at Milwaukee||L 110-106|
|1985||at Phoenix||W 144-107|
|2000||at Portland||W 96-86|
|2010||Golden State||W 107-83|
|2012||at Portland||L 116-106|
Here are the Lakers’ top Halloween displays that surely still haunt their opponents.
First In L.A. (1962)
Just two years after moving from Minneapolis, the Lakers played their first Halloween game against a struggling New York team that came in at 2-5. Knicks All-Star Johnny Green put up 28 points, but his efforts were dwarfed by the Hall of Fame combo of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. West dropped 35 on New York, while Baylor matched Green’s 28, and the Lakers rushed past the Knicks, 115-95.
Showtime Scary (1985)
Coming off the franchise’s ninth championship, the Lakers were absolutely terrifying in moving to 3-0 with a 144-107 rout of Phoenix. Seven Lakers scored double figures, including four off the bench. Byron Scott caught fire for 31 points on a hyper-efficient 11-of-13 shooting, while Larry Nance Jr.’s father, Larry Sr., led the Suns with 23 points.
Season-Opening Statement (1997)
Just a few months after Utah had bounced them in five games in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Lakers sought to prove they could hang with the best on a Halloween Opening Night. Despite trailing by 12 at the end of the first quarter, the Lakers used a 61-42 second half to pull out a 104-87 victory led by 19-year-old Kobe Bryant, who scored a game-high 23 points off the bench thanks to a 13-of-14 free throw clip.
Nick Van Exel (22 points) helped counter a big night from Karl Malone (20 points, 14 rebounds), who played without legendary point guard John Stockton that night. But the Jazz took their revenge in the playoffs by sweeping Los Angeles in the Western Conference Finals.
Ghost of Postseason Past (2000)
Five months after rallying from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit against Portland in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers mounted another late run to beat the Trail Blazers. Down by two at the start of the fourth quarter, current L.A. associate head coach Brian Shaw hit a 3-pointer to get his team going. He scored seven points during the Lakers’ ensuing 11-2 run, shocking the packed Oregon crowd on their way to a 96-86 win.
Meanwhile, Shaquille O’Neal was the monster under the bed for the majority of Opening Night, racking up 36 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks, despite the Blazers trying a handful of defenders and double-teams against him.
Mamba Costume (2006)
With Bryant, the NBA’s reigning scoring champion, sidelined after knee surgery, Lamar Odom apparently decided to put on a Kobe Halloween costume, pushing his team to a 114-106 win with 34 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
At first, the Lakers appeared doomed without their star, as Phoenix made its first nine shots and rushed out to a 41-26 first-quarter lead. However, Odom and Andrew Bynum (18 points, nine rebounds) steadied the team from there, outscoring the Suns 61-38 in the middle quarters of the season opener, while current head coach Luke Walton provided 11 points.
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