Kobe Passes Moses Malone; Bynum Leads Lakers To Win Over Hawks

Bynum has 50 rebounds in his last three games.

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Lakers Clicking On All Cylinders; Can They Continue Against Heat On Thursday?

The Los Angeles Lakers have been on fire since the All-Star break, winning all eight games on their schedule, the latest triumph a 101-87 victory over the Hawks in Atlanta. While the game featured another strong defensive effort -- the Hawks shot 39.8% and the Lakers held their fifth straight opponent to 87 points or less -- the Lakers offense was clicking, too. Over on Silver Screen and Roll, Dexter Fishmore outlined the success of the Lakers when they held the ball:

Tonight's performance featured a resplendent offensive attack that cut the Hawks' defense to ribbons. All evening long, the Lakers played inside-out from the post, exploiting their height advantage over Atlanta's front line and ripping seams in the Hawks' interior D. Sharing the rock, making strong moves to the hole, stepping into jumpers... all that good stuff was on the plate, and it came together deliciously in the form of 1.20 points per possession. Kobe Bryant set the pace with 26 points, his game smooth and in the flow of the Triangle system. In the process he passed Moses Malone to reach sixth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

The Lakers will need to play well to end their week, as they end their road trip with trips to Miami and Dallas. Thursday's game with the Heat features quite a matchup: the Lakers have won eight straight, the Heat have lost five straight, and Miami dominated the Lakers 96-80 on Christmas Day. Whatever happens Thursday, on TNT, Fishmore is looking forward to it:

This Miami game will be a fascinating yardstick. In December, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade killed the Lakers with powerful drives to the hoop while Chris Bosh lit up Pau Gasol with his midrange game. As beatdowns go, it was pretty rough. The opportunity is there now for the Lakers to demonstrate how far they've come defensively. Just as they dispelled the Spurs' aura of invincibility, they can put to rest concerns about the matchup problems Miami seemed to expose in the teams' first meeting.

The Lakers have lost their only games with both Miami and Dallas this season. The Lakers play 11 of their last 17 games at Staples Center. For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Resurgence Of Andrew Bynum The Key To Lakers' Winning Streak

If you want to find a reason why the Los Angeles Lakers have won eight straight games, look no further than Andrew Bynum. Bynum controlled the middle tonight in Atlanta, with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks, and helped -- with fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol -- hold the Hawks to 39.8% shooting on the night. The Lakers have held six of their last eight opponents to under-40% shooting, and in their eight-game winning streak Laker opponents have shot a collective 40.2% from the field.

The Lakers have held five straight opponents to 87 points or less. Bynum has been a huge part of the defensive resurgence of the Lakers, aggressively pursuing the ball at every opportunity. During the eight-game winning streak, Bynum is averaging 12.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in 29.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 63.5% from the field.

In his last three games, Bynum has 50 total rebounds, following up a pair of 17-rebound efforts against the Bobcats and Spurs with a 16-board game tonight. In the last 25 years, Bynum is just one of four different Lakers to have three or more straight games with 16 rebounds.

Lakers with 16-Rebound Streaks Since 1986-87
Player Year Streak Rebounds (rpg) Record
Pau Gasol 2009-10 4 78 (19.5) 3-1
Lamar Odom
2008-09 4 74 (18.5) 3-1
Shaquille O`Neal  
1999-2000 4 70 (17.5) 3-1
Shaquille O'Neal 2003-04 3 60 (20.0) 3-0
Lamar Odom
2006-07 3 52 (17.3) 1-2
Andrew Bynum
2010-11 3 50 (16.7) 3-0
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

The Lakers still have a tough road ahead of them this week, with road tilts remaining in Miami (Thursday) and Dallas (Saturday). Bynum was a non-factor in the Christmas Day matchup with the Heat, with six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes in the Lakers' 96-80 loss. That was only Bynum's sixth game back off knee surgery, but now the big man literally has his legs under him. If Bynum plays anywhere near his current level of play on Thursday in Miami, the Lakers will send the Heat to their sixth straight defeat.

For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Bynum, Lakers Defeat Hawks, 101-87, For Eighth Straight Win

Andrew Bynum continued to establish his presence in the middle tonight in Atlanta, leading the Lakers to a 101-87 win over the Hawks, the eighth straight win for the Lakers. Bynum had 16 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocked shots, and was the linchpin of a defense that held the Hawks to 39.8% shooting on the night. The Lakers have held five straight opponents to 87 or fewer points.

Kobe Bryant led all scorers tonight with 26 points, and continued his assault on the NBA record book. The 26 points for Bryant gave him 27,423 points in his illustrious career, passing Moses Malone for sixth place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Bryant began this season in 12th place on the list, and has passed six Hall of Famers. Next on the list is Shaquille O'Neal, though Kobe won't pass his former teammate until sometime next season at the earliest.

Pau Gasol had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists for the Lakers, who outrebounded the Hawks, 43-38. The Lakers shot 49.4% in the game, and opened up a 22-point lead in the second half. Atlanta was able to cut the lead to as low as eight points in the fourth quarter, but succumbed to their third straight defeat and ninth loss in their last 13 games. Al Horford paced the Hawks with 17 points and grabbed nine boards in 40 minutes.

The win for the Lakers snapped a three-game losing streak against the Hawks in Atlanta. The Lakers swept their season series with the Hawks for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. The Lakers have not lost a season series to Atlanta since the 1978-1979 season. The Lakers next travel to Miami on Thursday to face the Heat in a nationally televised game on TNT.

For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Hawks: Kobe Bryant Passes Moses Malone For 6th On NBA All-Time Scoring List

Looking for their eighth straight win, the Los Angeles Lakers took a 57-49 lead into halftime over the Atlanta Hawks, and Kobe Bryant made history with 15 first-half points. Bryant passed Moses Malone for sixth place in the NBA all-time scoring list. Just in case you forgot about the former three-time MVP Malone, here is a quick biography:

Bryant began the season in 12th place on the all-time list, but has passed four legends this season. Kobe passed former Celtic John Havlicek on December 10, passed Dominique Wilkins on January 4, passed Oscar Robertson on January 7, passed Hakeem Olajuwon on January 28, and passed Elvin Hayes on February 27:

NBA All-Time Scoring List
Rank Player Points Avg
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar   38,387 24.6
2 Karl Malone 36,928 25.0
3 Michael Jordan 32,292 30.12
4 Wilt Chamberlain 31,419 30.07
5 Shaquille O'Neal 28,590 23.7
6 Kobe Bryant 27,412 25.3
7 Moses Malone 27,409 20.6
8 Elvin Hayes 27,313 21.0
9 Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946 21.8
10 Oscar Robertson 26,710 25.7
11 Dominique Wilkins   
26,668 24.8
12 John Havlicek
26,395 20.8

Malone played three seasons of his great career with the Hawks, from 1989-1991, making the All-Star team in 1989. Bryant scored 20 points against the Hawks on February 22, in a 104-80 win by the Lakers.

For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Hawks: Kobe Bryant Needs 13 Points To Pass Moses Malone For 6th On All-Time NBA Scoring List

The Los Angeles Lakers look to extend their winning streak to eight games tonight in Atlanta facing the Hawks, a team that has won just four of its last 12 games. Kobe Bryant is closing in on another milestone, just 12 points shy of Moses Malone for sixth place on the NBA all-time scoring list. To pass Moses, Kobe needs 13 points against the Hawks, a number he has reached in 62 of 64 games this season.

Bryant began the season in 12th place on the all-time list, but has passed four legends this season. Kobe passed former Celtic John Havlicek on December 10, passed Dominique Wilkins on January 4, passed Oscar Robertson on January 7, passed Hakeem Olajuwon on January 28, and passed Elvin Hayes on February 27:

NBA All-Time Scoring List
Rank Player Points Avg
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar   38,387 24.6
2 Karl Malone 36,928 25.0
3 Michael Jordan 32,292 30.12
4 Wilt Chamberlain 31,419 30.07
5 Shaquille O'Neal 28,590 23.7
6 Moses Malone 27,409 20.6
7 Kobe Bryant 27,397 25.3
8 Elvin Hayes 27,313 21.0
9 Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946 21.8
10 Oscar Robertson 26,710 25.7
11 Dominique Wilkins   
26,668 24.8
12 John Havlicek
26,395 20.8

Malone played three seasons of his great career with the Hawks, from 1989-1991, making the All-Star team in 1989. Bryant scored 20 points against the Hawks on February 22, in a 104-80 win by the Lakers.

For more news and information on today's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Red Hot Lakers Continue Road Trip In Atlanta Against Hawks

The Los Angeles Lakers are in search of their seventh straight win, continuing their road trip with a swing through Atlanta to face the slumping Hawks. The Lakers are 23-11 on the road this season, the third best road record in the NBA. The Hawks are 18-11 at Philips Arena this season, but they have lost their last two games, both at home. Atlanta is 4-8 in their last 12 games.

The Lakers have held their last four opponents to 87 or fewer points, and have held nine of their last 15 points to under 90 points. The Lakers beat the Hawks 104-80 at Staples Center on February 22, which began their current winning streak. In the victory over the Hawks two weeks ago, Kobe Bryant scored 20 points and had five assists, while Pau Gasol had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Johnson, who leads the Hawks averaging 19.1 points and 5.2 assists per game, scored 14 points in defeat on February 22.

The Lakers have lost each of their last three games in Atlanta, which the last win coming on February 5, 2007. Bryant is 13 points shy of catching Moses Malone for seventh place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Matt Barnes, who played 14 minutes on Sunday following missing 26 games after knee surgery, is listed as probable for tonight's game, as is Derek Fisher, who has a sprained left elbow. Both Fisher and Barnes are expected to play against the Hawks.

For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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