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 January 26-February 1, over their 66-year history.
January 29, 1980
Norm Nixon set a then-NBA record for most minutes played in a single game with 64, when the Lakers fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 154-153 in quadruple overtime. Nixon’s record was tied in 1987 by Sleepy Floyd of the Golden State Warriors, and later broken by Dale Ellis of the Seattle SuperSonics in 1989, when he played for 69 minutes in a five-overtime game against Milwaukee.
January 30, 1996
Magic Johnson shocked the NBA with his return to the league after having been retired from playing basketball since he announced that he had contracted HIV in 1992. In his first game back on the floor with the Lakers, Johnson scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out 10 assists to help the Lakers defeat the Golden State Warriors 128-118 at the Great Western Forum. At 36 years old, Johnson played the final 32 games of the 1995-96 season, while averaging 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists during that stretch. Johnson was an assistant coach with the Lakers in 1994 before returning to the hardwood. He retired from playing for good in 1996.
January 31, 2010
Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning shot over Ray Allen with 7.3 seconds left in regulation to lift the Lakers over the Boston Celtics 90-89 at the TD Garden. This victory marked Los Angeles’ fourth consecutive win, and third straight against Boston. Despite trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers rallied behind Bryant and their big men down low, outscoring Boston 18-0 on points in the paint in the fourth quarter. Bryant finished the game with 19 points, while Andrew Bynum also dropped 19 points and collected 11 rebounds. Pau Gasol added 11 points and 11 rebounds. With his 19 points, Kobe Bryant moved within 28 points of Jerry West’s all-time Lakers’ record of 25,192, for most points scored in franchise history.