Lakers games of Christmas past
Cleveland 102, Lakers 87
Kobe Bryant shoots poorly, Lamar Odom is ejected and Staples Center fans boo the home team’s uninspired play. LeBron James has 26 points and nine assists for the Cavaliers. In June 2010, the Lakers win another title with a Game 7 victory over Boston.
Lakers 92, Boston 83
Lakers end the Celtics’ winning streak at 19 games and go on to defeat Orlando in five games in the 2009 Finals.
Lakers 122, Phoenix 115
No defense in this game. Kobe Bryant has 38 points, Andrew Bynum scores 28, and the new-look Lakers stretch their wings. In June 2008, the Lakers lose in six games to Boston in the Finals.
Miami 101, Lakers 85
The Lakers are flat and Dwyane Wade pours in 40 points. Phoenix eliminates the Lakers in five games in the first-round of the 2007 playoffs.
Miami 97, Lakers 92
Bryant and Odom miss three-pointers late and the Heat holds on. The Lakers lose to Phoenix in seven games in the first round of the 2006 playoffs.
Miami 104, Lakers 102
Bryant gets 42 points, but former teammate Shaquille O’Neal gets the win. Lakers finish 34-48 and miss the playoffs.
Houston 99, Lakers 87
Bryant makes nine of 26 shots. Steve Francis leads the Rockets with 22 points. Detroit beats the Lakers in five games in the 2004 Finals
Sacramento 105, Lakers 99
It’s the twilight of an intense rivalry; the Lakers beat Sacramento in seven grueling games in the 2002 playoffs. In May 2003, the Spurs eliminate the Lakers in six games in the Western semifinals.
Lakers 88, Philadelphia 82
Shaq is out with an injury, Kobe scores only 12, while Allen Iverson pours in 31, but the Lakers overcome a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Lakers win the 2002 title, sweeping New Jersey.
Portland 109, Lakers 104
Shaq and Kobe combine for 61 points, but a late offensive foul call on Bryant nullifies a potential three-point play. The Lakers win another title, beating the 76ers in five games in the 2001 Finals.
Lakers 99, San Antonio 93
O’Neal gets 32 as the Lakers edge the defending champions. Phil Jackson wins his first title with the Lakers as they defeat Indiana in six games in the 2000 Finals.