After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of December 15-21, over their 66-year history.
December 16, 2009
Kobe Bryant lifted the Lakers in overtime with a buzzer-beating jump-shot over Charlie Bell to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-106 in Milwaukee. Bryant led the Lakers with 39 points in 50 minutes of action, while Pau Gasol had a monster game with 26 points and 22 rebounds.
December 19, 2003
Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning, buzzer-beater at the end of regulation, when the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets by a score of 101-99 at the Staples Center. Bryant’s fade-away over Jon Barry counted for two of his 13 points on the day. Shaquille O’Neal led Los Angeles with 26 points in the win.
December 20, 2001
Lakers’ play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn missed his first broadcast in 36 years and 3,338 games, when the Lakers took on the Houston Rockets in Texas. At this time, Hearn was recovering from cardiac bypass surgery, but returned to the booth later in the 2001-02 season. Hearn’s last broadcast occurred during Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals, when the Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets to win their third straight NBA Championship. Hearn is known for coining popular basketball phrases such as “slam dunk,” “air ball,” and “no harm, no foul.”
December 21, 1980
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored a season-high 42 points to surpass 25,000 career points, in a 135-102 Lakers victory over the San Antonio Spurs. On this date, Abdul-Jabbar became just the fifth player in NBA history to reach the 25,000-point milestone.
December 21, 1985
The Lakers won their NBA-best 24th game of the season, raising their record to 24-3, when they defeated the Washington Bullets 96-84. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the scoring attack with 29 points, while Magic Johnson followed suit with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Lakers finished the 1985-86 regular season with 62 wins, making it one of 11 seasons in team history with 60 or more victories.