Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.
NOVEMBER 29, 1974
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ 122 – LA LAKERS 127
PAT RILEY SCORES CAREER-HIGH 38 IN WIN OVER JAZZ
The 1974-75 season wasn’t the best season in Laker history. Statistically, with a 30-52 record, it was the actually the losingest season since the team had moved from Minneapolis in 1960 and still is today. The absence of Jerry West due to retirement, along with a slew of injuries to Gail Goodrich, Kermit Washington and other would force future Laker coach Pat Riley into the lineup. Though, even Riley was struggling with his own injury issues; tendinitis in his right knee had caused him to list as questionable before the game, though he would suit up in case the team needed him.
Against the expansion New Orleans Jazz led by Pete Maravich, Riley would explode for a career-high 38 points, shooting 6-for-8 and scoring 19 in a frantic 80-point fourth quarter for the two clubs. Despite his five fouls early in the fourth quarter, Riley would also total seven rebounds and seven assists in the 127-122 win over the Jazz.
Fellow Laker guard Lucius Allen would also score a season-high 30 points, and future Laker broadcaster Stu Lantz would chip in 22 points as well. In a final note of Laker figures past and present, former Laker coach Butch Van Breda Kolff, who had coached the Lakers to back-to-back finals appearances in the late 1960s, would coach the expansion Jazz that evening, garnering a technical foul.
Quote of the Night: “The ball just happened to be going in for me tonight. It made up for my terrible defense.” – Laker forward Pat Riley on his career-high scoring night in a 127-122 victory over the New Orleans Jazz. – From the LA Times, Nov. 30, 1974