Lakers and LeBron James Can Tie Road Wins Record This Week


On Oct. 22, the Lakers lost their season opener against the Clippers, as the visiting team in the downtown Los Angeles arena they share. LeBron James and the Lakers haven’t lost on the road since.

Their 14-game road winning streak is tied for the third longest in N.B.A. history. If the Lakers can beat the Pacers on Tuesday and the Bucks on Thursday, they will tie the record.

That mark of 16 is held by one of the legendary teams of the game, the 1971-72 Lakers. It was part of a more heralded run, a 33-game winning streak that seems almost unbreakable. The 2015-16 Warriors came closest, winning 28 in a row over two seasons.

Those ’71-72 Lakers cruised to the N.B.A. title behind Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich. “When we put it all together, we’ve got to be perhaps the greatest club ever,” Coach Bill Sharman said at the time, casting aside traditional coaching modesty. The team amassed 69 regular-season wins, a record that stood for 24 years. This season’s Lakers, currently 24-3, project to win 73 games, which would tie the 2015-16 Warriors.

The Lakers lost at their Staples Center home to the Mavericks in the middle of their road streak, so their longest overall win streak this season is 10.

The Lakers’ run is particularly impressive in the N.B.A., where winning consistently on the road is difficult. Home teams historically win about 60 percent of all games, and teams as good as the Philadelphia 76ers and Clippers are .500 or worse away from home this season.

On the other hand, the Lakers have benefited from a kindly road schedule during the streak. Ten of the 14 wins came against teams that currently have a losing record. The Lakers do have four strong road wins, against the Mavericks, to start the streak, the Nuggets, the Jazz, and, most impressively, the Heat on Friday. Miami is 11-0 at home against teams other than the Lakers.

A day after the win in Miami, James took in a high school game involving his son in Columbus, Ohio. The next day, he led the Lakers to road win No. 14 against the Hawks in Atlanta.

The Mavericks’ win that started the streak was also the closest the Lakers came to losing during it. Los Angeles needed Danny Green to beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime before the Lakers won by 9. Los Angeles also won games by 1, 3 and 4 points during the run.


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