Tag Archives: Lakers

Kobe Bryant vs. Kevin Durant: Six stats you might not know

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives t...

Kobe Bryant  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Game 1 of the Oklahoma City ThunderLos Angeles Lakers playoff series is in the books and the Thunder made a pretty loud statement with their 119-90 win.

While there are many subplots to this series, the one that has garnered significant attention is the match-up between Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. ESPN Stats & Information noted that this is the fifth time that the No. 1 and No. 2 regular season scorers are facing off in the playoffs. This Kobe-Durant battle may not have the sexiness of a Magic-Bird matchup, but it’s still worth watching.

Here’s a look at some stats you might not know about when Kobe and Durant have faced off against each other since Durant came into the league in 2007 (includes last night’s game).

1. The Lakers and Thunder (they were the Sonics in Durant’s first year in the league)… and Bryant and Durant… have played against each other 23 times since the start of the 2007 season. The Lakers have won 16 of the 23 games. The Thunder, however, have won four of the last five. They have faced off in the playoffs seven times with the Lakers holding a 4-3 edge. The home team has won all seven games in the playoffs between these two teams.

2. In the 23 games that Bryant and Durant have faced each other, Kobe has scored more points than Durant in 11 games, Durant has scored more points than Kobe in 11 games, and they have had the same number of points in one game. In the last 14 games, however, going back to March 26, 2010, Durant has outscored Kobe in 10 games of those 14 games.

3. Both Bryant and Durant average just under 21 shots per game when their teams play against each other. Bryant averages 20.9 shots per game, Durant 20.5 shots per game.

4. Each player’s points per game (ppg) in home games, away games, wins and losses in the 23 times they’ve faced each other:

* Bryant: Home, 27.1 ppg; Away, 24.6 ppg; Wins, 26.0 ppg; Losses, 25.3 ppg.

* Durant: Home, 25.0 ppg; Away, 25.3 ppg; Wins, 26.7 ppg; Losses, 24.4 ppg.

5. Bryant averages 27.0 ppg in regular season games against the Thunder. His playoff average versus the Thunder is 23.0. Durant averages 25.2 ppg in regular season games against the Lakers; his playoff average is 25.0.

6. Kobe’s high game against the Thunder in the Bryant-Durant era was 48 on January 14, 2008. His low game was 11 on March 26, 2010. Durant’s high game against the Lakers was 35 on April 22, 2012. His low was a 15-point performance on February 24, 2008.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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2012 NBA Playoffs: Does sweeping the first two series lead to a title?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have both taken 3-0 leads in their opening round series and the San Antonio Spurs have a two games to none lead in their first-round series. All three series have the potential to be four-game sweeps.

Here’s the question: Does sweeping the first two playoff series lead to an NBA championship? In NBA history, 11 teams have swept the first two playoff series. Of those 11, six have gone on to win the title. The last team to sweep the first two playoff series were the Orland Magic in 2010. They, however, lost the next series to the Boston Celtics and failed to reach the NBA Finals. The 2001 Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to sweep the first two playoff series and then win the title that year.

Following is a look at the 11 teams that went through their first two playoff series undefeated and where they ended up in the playoffs that season.

2010 Orlando Magic: Swept both Charlotte and Atlanta in four games in the first two rounds. Lost to Boston four games to two in the conference finals.

2009 Cleveland Cavaliers: Swept Detroit and Atlanta in the first two rounds. Lost to Orlando 4-2 in the conference finals.

2005 Miami Heat: Swept both New Jersey and Washington in four games in the first two rounds. Lost to the Detroit Pistons in Game Seven of the conference finals.

2001 Los Angeles Lakers: Swept Portland in a three-game series and then swept Sacramento in four straight in the conference semifinals. Swept the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals. Defeated the 76ers in the Finals four games to one. They are the last team to sweep the first two rounds of the playoffs and win the NBA title.

1999 Indiana Pacers: Swept the Bucks in three games in the first round and swept Philadelphia in four straight in the next round. They lost four games to two to the New York Knicks in the conference finals.

1993 Chicago Bulls: They swept Atlanta in three games in the frist round, then swept Cleveland in four games the following round. Went on to win the NBA championship that year.

1989 Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers: The only time in NBA history that the two teams facing off in the finals swept both of their first two round series. The Pistons won the title after defeating the Celtics 3-0 in the opening round and then beating the Bucks 4-0 in the conference semifinals. The Lakers swept Portland in three in the first round and then disposed of Seattle in four straight in the next round. The Lakers are the only team to lose in NBA finals after sweeping their first two series.

1982 Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers swept the Suns 4-0 in their first series of the playoffs and then swept the Spurs in the conference finals. They went on to defeat the 76ers 4-2 in the finals for the title.

1950 Minneapolis Lakers: The Lakers swept the Chicago Stags in two games ( a best-of-three series) and swept the Fort Wayne Pistons 2-0 in the next round on their way to winning the league title four games to two over the Syracuse Nationals.

1949 Minneapolis Lakers: Swept the Chicago Stags 2-0 and the Rochester Royals 2-0 in the first two rounds before defeating the Washington Capitals four games to two to win the title.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp