The Lakers – Heat game on Christmas Day at STAPLES Center may end up having nothing to do with matchups, statistics, scouting reports or anything so tangible and depend more on what type of effort the Lakers bring to the contest:
A: Fiery and inspired like against Boston for the 2009 X-Mas game, which resulted in a 92-83 win that snapped Boston’s franchise-record 19-game winning streak.
B: Less fiery and less inspired like against a hungry Cleveland for the 2010 X-Mas game, equaling a 102-87 loss.
But that doesn’t mean the numbers and facts aren’t fun to look at, so here are more than you need:
Lakers Christmas Factoids:
- The Lakers have played on Christmas Day 36 times, beginning back in 1947 when they beat the Ft. Wayne Pistons. Now in season No. 63, the Lakers have gone 20-16 (11-7 at home), tied with the New York Knicks for the most victories.
- Saturday’s contest will be the 12th straight X-Mas game for the Lakers, going back to 1999, though the Lakers have managed only four wins with seven losses.
- This marks the fourth Christmas game against the Heat, who have beaten the Lakers on each occasion: 104-102 (OT) in 2004, 97-92 in 2005 and 101-85 in 2006.
- Kobe Bryant will be playing in his record-tying 13th X-Mas game, along with Boston’s Shaquille O’Neal, to match the mark of Dolph Schayes and Earl Monroe. Bryant ranks second all-time on the Christmas points list behind Oscar Robertson (377) with 304 points.
- Phil Jackson played in 10 Christmas Day games as a player, and will be coaching his 18th (7-0 with Chicago, 4-6 with the Lakers).
- The Christmas day games will air in 215 countries in 43 languages, with 25 international players competing out of 18 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, France, Great Britain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.
Field Goal Defense:
Lakers: .434 (4th)
Heat: .425 (1st)
Lakers: .382 (7th, led by Steve Blake’s .460, 9th)
Heat: .392 (3rd, led by Carlos Arroyo’s .512, 2nd)
Lakers: .332 (5th)
Heat: .307 (1st)
Lakers: 44.8 (2nd led by Pau Gasol’s 11.1, 6th)
Heat: 42.6 (5th, led by Bosh’s 7.9)
Lakers: 42.0 (18th)
Heat: 40.13 (7th)
Lakers: 23.0 (7th, led by Kobe Bryant’s 4.6)
Heat: 20.17 (22nd, led by LeBron James’s 7.2, 12th)
Lakers: 106.4 (5th, led by Bryant’s 25.9, 3rd)
Heat: 100.8 (12th, led by James’s 24.3, 7th)
Lakers: 8.25 (7th, led by Ron Artest’s 1.61, 15th)
Heat: 6.80 (22nd, led by Dwyane Wade’s 1.52, 19th)
Lakers: 5.07 (14th, led by Pau Gasol’s 2.11, 8th)
Heat: 5.53 (8th, led by Joel Anthony’s 1.35)
Lakers: 13.75 (8th)
Heat: 13.33 (3rd)
Lakers: 14.32 (17th)
Heat: 13.83 (22nd)