ESPN: Phil Jackson pulled even with Red Auerbach in regular-season victories, 5 1/2 seasons after tying the Boston Celtics coach for the most NBA championships won.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points and seven assists before sitting out the fourth quarter and the Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 123-109 Friday night, giving Jackson his 938th career win and a share of seventh place on the career list.
“The longer you stay here, the more wins you’re going to accumulate,” Jackson said modestly. “But I’ve never really followed that stuff, you know? I think the night that made the most sense to me, in terms of numbers of wins, was when I got my 500th and Bill Fitch was coaching on the other side. He was my college coach, and he came over and shook my hand after the game.”
As fate would have it, Jackson will get a chance to pass Auerbach when the Lakers host the Celtics on Sunday night in the 177th regular-season meeting of the NBA’s greatest rivalry. They’ve faced each other 10 times in the finals, with Boston winning the first eight and the Lakers prevailing in 1985 and 1987.
ackson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 7, has won nine league titles as a coach. Three of them came with the Lakers and the other six with the Chicago Bulls — who won 72 games with Jackson at the helm in 1995-96.