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News, notes and nuggets from the teams of the Western Conference.
With 10 rebounds Jan. 5 at Phoenix, Lamar Odom recorded his 7,000th career rebound, becoming just the 23rd player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the ninth fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (680 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Chris Webber (695), Elgin Baylor (716 games), Bill Russell (746 games) and Charles Barkley (762 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 783 career games.
In their victory at New Orleans on December 29th, the Lakers posted season highs for field goal percentage in a quarter (first, .750), half (first, .676) and game (.586) after connecting on only 37.9 percent of their shots in the previous two games combined. Additionally, it was the first time this season that each of the Lakers starters (Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher) shot 50 percent or better from the field in the same game.
Golden State is shooting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc this season, which ranks 1st in the NBA. The Warriors have shot 40 percent or better from three in 19 games this season, including nine games of 50 percent or better. Not only are they shooting a high percentage, but they are making a high number as well. The Warriors average 8.5 made 3-pointers per game, which ranks fifth in the league, and they have made 10-or-more from deep on 14 occasions.
Yao Ming underwent a successful surgical procedure on Jan. 6 to repair a stress fracture of the medial malleolus in his left ankle. Yao is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Chuck Hayes sustained a moderate to severe right ankle sprain during practice on Dec. 30. He is expected to be sidelined 2-4 weeks before resuming regular basketball activities. Aaron Brooks aggravated his left ankle sprain at Denver (Jan. 3) that he originally sustained at San Antonio (Nov. 6). Brooks is listed as day-to-day.
In the last 12 games (7-5), the Hornets are outscoring their opponents 46.9-44.4 in the second half, winning nine of the last 12 second halves.
Memphis leads the NBA in points in the paint for a second consecutive season, pouring in 48.0 points inside after scoring 51.4 points inside in 2009-10.
The Suns have dropped two-straight and six of their last seven games overall. The Suns are 1-3 (.250) with all three new additions in the lineup. Vince Carter made his debut Dec. 29. The Suns are 2-6 (.250) since their blockbuster trade Dec. 18, including a 1-5 (.167) mark with the three new additions (Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus) available.
Portland has won eight straight games at the Rose Garden, last losing more than a month ago (Nov. 26 vs. New Orleans). The run is the NBA’s third-longest active home winning streak (San Antonio, Atlanta) and Portland’s longest since winning 12 straight at the Rose Garden (Jan. 24-March 9, 2009). The Trail Blazers wrapped up a third straight sweep of a home stand with a 100-85 win on Jan. 2 vs. Houston. The Trail Blazers are now 12-3 at home, equaling their 15-game mark from 2008-09, when Portland won its first seven contests at the Rose Garden. The Trail Blazers also started 12-3 in 2007-08. The last time Portland won more than 12 of its first 15 home contests was 1990-91, when the team started 14-1. The Trail Blazers have scored at least 100 points in nine of 15 home games while reaching the mark six times in 21 tries on the road. The Trail Blazers are one of only three teams in the league that have already played at least 21 road games entering games of Jan. 7.
The Spurs finished 13-2 (.867) in December and 14-1 (.933) in November, which are the best November-December and franchise history. Overall, the Spurs have compiled 13 wins in a month eight times and at least 14 wins in a month seven times. The Spurs' .933 winning percentage in November is the second best winning percentage in any month (with 10 or more victories) in team history.
Rookie Jeremy Evans is making the most of his playing time. Of his 21 field goals so far this season, the 6-9 forward from Western Kentucky has recorded 13 dunks with over half of the slams (7) coming from alley-oop passes from Earl Watson.