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 29-January 4, over their 66-year history.
December 30, 1971
The Lakers finished the month of December with a perfect 16-0 record after defeating the Seattle SuperSonics 122-106 in Seattle. With the victory, Los Angeles posted the best monthly record in NBA history, as well as their second straight undefeated month, in the midst of their eventual NBA record 33-game winning streak. Jim McMillian scored 34 points, while Jerry West contributed 28 in the win.
December 31, 1954
The then-Minneapolis Lakers and the Fort Wayne Pistons attempted a combined 127 free throws, which still holds as the NBA record for the most-ever attempts in a regulation game. Minneapolis won the game 103-91, as six different Lakers (Lovellette, Schnittker, M’Kelsen, Kalafat, Martin, and Skoog) scored in double-figures.
December 31, 2010
Kobe Bryant hit a go-ahead jump shot with 1:15 left in the game to lift the Lakers over the Philadelphia 76ers 102-98 at the Staples Center. With the win, Los Angeles avoided its first three-game home losing streak since March 2008. Bryant finished with 33 points, including two clutch free-throws with 1.9 seconds left in the game. Pau Gasol added 20 points and eight rebounds in the win.
January 1, 1967
The Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 111-110 on New Year’s Day. Jerry West and Elgin Baylor provided the spark for the then-struggling Lakers over the first place Celtics, scoring 35 and 30 points respectively.
January 2, 2005
Los Angeles beat the Denver Nuggets 99-91 at the Staples Center in their first game of 2005. Kobe Bryant led the scoring charge for the Lakers with 42 points, as he went 14-29 from the field in the win. This game marked the third consecutive contest during which Bryant scored at least 40 points. Despite Denver cutting the deficit to two points with under 2:30 left in the fourth quarter, Bryant scored the Lakers’ following eight points to lift them to victory.