The Blazers bring an eight game home winning streak against the Lakers into tonight's game at the Rose Garden. This is truly an amazing feat against one of the league's best teams, especially considering that during the first four of those victories, the Blazers were a sub .500 team. It's also interesting to see that the key in these games hasn't been stopping Kobe; he scored over 30 points in seven of the eight games.
Here is a quick recap of the eight game winning streak in order to get you warmed up for tonight's game.
This was the last game of the 2004-2005 season (record 27-55) and also the last game of the Coach Kevin Pritchard era (who took over for Mo Cheeks late in the season; KP's record was 5-22). Outlaw and Prz were the only current Blazers on the team (but Prz was injured). Outlaw led the Blazers with 20 points off the bench. Fun fact of this game? Ha Seung-Jin played 24 minutes and scored 13 points. To be fair, this was not a good Laker team. They were 34-48 this year and started Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, Chris Mihm, and a rookie Sasha V. Kobe scoring=37
Blazer starters were Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Victor Khryapa, Joel Przybilla, and Theo Ratliff. And we won? ZBo didn't get the start because he was late to shoot around but still played 44 minutes. Juan Dixon led Portland with 27 points. Kobe came into the game with four straight games of scoring 45 or more. Leave it to Kobe Stopper Ruben Patterson to put an end to that streak. Barely. Kobe scoring=41
Portland had a six game losing streak coming into the game in an ugly stretch of the '05-'06 season. The crowd helped the team end their losing streak, and they got 20 points from ZBo and 19 from Steve Blake. This is the only game of the streak in which Portland scored under 100 points. Kobe scoring=35
This was year-one of the Roy and Aldridge era, but both were out of this early season game with injuries. Zach Randolph let the way for the home team with a dominating 36 point, 10 rebound performance. This was Zach's highest scoring season at 23.6 ppg and also his last in Portland. Jarrett Jack had his standard 12 point, six assist, six turnover game. This was the only home game vs LA in the season. Kobe scoring=32
This was Brandon and LaMarcus' first effort against the Lakers in the Rose Garden. Roy had 20 points and 12 assists, and Aldridge had 22 points and eight boards. This was a full team effort though with Blake chipping in 15, Jack with 21 and 11 assists, and Travis with 18 points. This game snapped a 10 game winning streak by the Lakers. Kobe scoring=33
The Blazers were limping towards the end of the season on a five-game losing streak and a 38-39 record heading into this game. The goal was to finish the season with a winning record. That is why this was a huge win for the young team. All of the Blazer starters scored in double digits, including 22 and 11 from Channing Frye, who was on a late season surge, filling in for an injured Przybilla. Roy and Aldrige both had big stat nights too (Roy 23 and 12 assist, LaMarcus 22 and 16 boards). Kobe scoring=34
This was the Rudy Fernandez-Trevor Ariza hard foul melee game. The Blazers were destroying the Lakers by 30 in the third quarter when Ariza fouled Rudy hard on a breakaway drive. The teams came together in a scrum after the foul, but not a lot happened. This was one of the most heated and memorable games of the year, and it took the rivalry up a level. Kobe scoring=26
This was a much closer game than the previous one, and cooler heads prevailed, as there were no retaliations of any kind from the Rudy-Ariza aftermath. The Blazers were trying to end the season with as high of a playoff seed as possible, and it looked as if the team was peaking at the right time. Greg Oden played his first role in this streak with 10 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Six Blazers scored in double-figures, led by Roy's 24. You can tell Kobe is getting frustrated with this losing streak. "Even when we're having championship runs, we usually come up here and get our butts kicked," Bryant said. Kobe scoring=32