Lakers’ 1971-72 team relieved to hold onto NBA-record winning streak

Below are some reflections from some members of the Lakers’ 1971-72 team on holding onto the NBA-record 33-game winning streak. The current Miami Heat came close after winning 27 consecutive games.

Bill Sharman, coach of the 1971-71 Lakers (via email)

“I watched the Miami/Bulls game at home with my wife and sister-in-law. We kept going back and forth between the Lakers game and the Heat game. I have to admit that we were all very nervous…..even when Chicago was ahead because the Heat team is so good and has come back from large deficits in other games. I felt that Miami had a very good chance of reaching our streak of 33…..they are an unbelievably good team. Who can say if the 33 straight streak will ever be broken, but as for now, I am glad that it stays with the Lakers and the Miami Heat and Pat Riley can be proud of the monumental feat of winning 27 in a row. I am really glad that Pat Riley was part of our “71 ’72 team, and I would have been among the first to congratulate him if they would have broken the streak.”
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Steve Nash has a “hip spasm”

MILWAUKEE — Just what the Lakers need.

More injuries.

That goes beyond Kobe Bryant having a bone spur in his left foot and a sprained left ankle. Lakers guard Steve Nash couldn’t even finish the Lakers’ 113-103 loss Thursday to the Milwaukee Bucks because of a “hip spasm” that stemmed from the past two games against Golden State and Minnesota.

“I got a spasm in my hip and a [sore] hamstring,” said Nash, who scored 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting and six assists.

He went to the locker room with 5:13 left in the third quarter to receive treatment from team physical therapist Judy Seto, moment after opening the second half with an uncharacteristic three turnovers. Although Nash returned to the court, he sat out the entire fourth quarter.

“I thought I could get through this game,” said Nash, who said he “hopes” he can play Saturday vs. Sacramento. “I was suffering in the second half, but I wanted to keep playing.”

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Kobe Bryant has a bone spur in his left foot

MILWAUKEE — Not that it should be a surprise, but the Lakers have even more injuries to monitor.

The main one: Kobe Bryant has a bone spur in his left foot and will be reevaluated Friday to determine his availability when the Lakers play Saturday against the Sacramento Kings. Bryant didn’t speak to reporters after the Lakers’ 113-103 loss Thursday to the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center, but he was seen in limping in the locker room afterwards. Bryant also has a sprained left ankle to monitor, an injury that kept him sidelined for two games earlier this month.

Bryant, who scored 30 points albeit on 6 of 17 shooting, routinely had his left ankle wrapped with a heated pad anytime he sat on the bench. But Bryant still played 36 minutes, including the final 6:47 of the fourth quarter.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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NBA determines Kobe Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio on final play of Lakers’ win over Minnesota

After reviewing the tape of the Lakers’ 120-117 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA determined that Kobe Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio during his 28-foot attempt and should’ve been awarded three free throws.

Of course, this does nothing to change the outcome.

The Lakers (37-35) still have a one-game lead over the Utah Jazz (36-36) for the eighth playoff spot and still have a 22-game winning streak against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But a similar incident recently happened to the Lakers’ detriment. The NBA retroactively conceded that Bryant should’ve been awarded two free throws in the final moments of the Lakers’ 96-92 loss March 13 to the Atlanta Hawks after Dahntay Jones stepped under Bryant during his potential game-tying shot.

The referees didn’t make a call. Instead, Bryant missed the shot, landed on Jones’ foot and sprained his left ankle. The next day, the NBA admitted the error.

For both the Lakers’ fortune and detriment, neither ruling changed the original outcome.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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Phil Jackson stars in Twitter promo



Now we know why Phil Jackson couldn’t tweet without making a myriad of spelling errors.

He struggled typing with all the 11 NBA championships rings he wore on his fingers. Of course, everyone understood the joke when the former Lakers coach tweeted this Wednesday night:

But Jackson took that joke one step further in an ad, all part of his marketing efforts to promote his upcoming book titled “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” scheduled for a late May release. Jackson won five of his 11 NBA titles in two separate stints with the Lakers (1999-2004, 2005-2011).

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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Lakers say Metta World Peace had successful surgery

The Lakers reported Metta World Peace underwent successful surgery in Los Angeles today to treat the lateral meniscus tear in his left knee, an injury that will sideline him for at least six weeks.

The surgery was performed by team doctors Steve Lombardo and Dan Kharrazi of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Grpup in Los Angeles. World Peace had averaged 12.8 points per game in 70 appearances, his highest mark in his four seasons with the Lakers. He had also appeared in better shape compared to recent years.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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Lakers, Timberwolves differ on whether Kobe Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio on final play

MINNEAPOLIS — Chaos ensued all around.

Kobe Bryant’s free throw attempt fell short by hitting the front of the rim, leaving him with a split second to ponder the missed shot. Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio grabbed the rebound and raced up the court. Bryant tried his best to catch up. And then Rubio threw up a 28-foot three-pointer in hopes to send the game into overtime.

What happened afterwards depends on who you ask.

Bryant contested Rubio’s three-pointer from behind and his shot fell short, cementing the Lakers’ 120-117 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio immediately pleaded to officials that Bryant fouled his arm and that he should be awarded three free throws.

“Sometimes it’s not fair,” Rubio said, “because we give 100 percent and sometimes we can’t control things.”

Bryant remained insistent he didn’t touch him.

“That’s not a foul,” he said. “They ain’t calling that s—. I don’t think I got him. That’s a tough call to make. I just put my hand in. It’s not like I went out and smacked him across the arm or anything like that.”
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Dwight Howard backtracks on promising retaliation on Golden State’s David Lee

MINNEAPOLIS – Dwight Howard expressed indifference toward the NBA retroactively assessing Golden State forward David Lee a flagrant foul type 1 for elbowing him and ultimately requiring him to receive three stitches on his lower lip.

“I don’t really care,” Howard said after the Lakers’ 120-117 win Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It’s late now. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Howard wanted to do something about his remarks where he suggested after the Lakers’ loss Monday to Golden State that he would retaliate against Lee when the teams meet again on April 12.

“I do want to clear it up,” Howard said. “I’m not going to do anything stupid the next time we play to jeopardize myself, to jeopardize the team or jeopardize his career. Even though I felt like the play was dirty, I’m not going to do anything to retaliate but go out there and play hard and do it the right way, which is winning the game and dominating, instead of doing something stupid which could cost me or our team the game.”
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Lakers squeak out ugly 120-117 win over Minnesota Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS – So this is what the Lakers could look like without World Peace.

With Metta World Peace remaining sidelined for at least the next six weeks after having surgery today to treat a lateral meniscus tear, the Lakers’ 120-117 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center featured various snapshots on what their evolving identity without their dependable defender.
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NBA retroactively gives flagrant foul to Golden State’s David Lee for elbow on Dwight Howard

MINNEAPOLIS — The ruling doesn’t exactly erase the reality that Dwight Howard needed three stitches to stop the bleeding on his lower lip. It may not assuage his frustration level, either.

But the NBA retroactively assessed a flagrant foul type 1 on Golden State Warriors forward David Lee for his elbow on Howard in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 109-103 loss Monday to the Golden State Warriors.

That sequence prompted Howard both to foul Lee and draw a technical with 3:15 left in the second quarter after jawing with him.

“He got away with a shot,” Howard said after the game. “I’ll remember this game.”

Howard obviously had the rest of the game to retaliate, but he maintained he didn’t want to receive a second technical and an immediate ejection. So the Lakers’ matchup April 12 against Golden State at Staples Center could yield more storylines beyond the team’s respective playoff seedings.

Despite talking with Lee before the second half started, Howard hardly sounded happy with his explanation.

“He said he wasn’t trying to do it,” Howard said. “You can look at the play and see for yourself.”

The NBA did and agreed.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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