The Lakers Have a Weird Streak Going

LOS ANGELES CA - JANUARY 17: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Serge Ibaka #9,Thabo Sefolosha #2 and Jeff Green #22 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Staples Center on January 17 2011 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Listen up, nerds: I've got a pop quiz for you. Without looking it up, and not counting the preseason, can you tell me the last time the Lakers played an overtime game? I'll give you a few moments to ponder.

You can't come up with it, can you? That's understandable, because it's been a long, long time since a Lakers game was tied at the end of regulation. It hasn't happened since March 4th of 2010 in Miami. The Heat's starting lineup that night included Quentin Richardson, Michael Beasley and Jermaine O'Neal. Since then, the Lakers have played 88 regular-season and playoff games, and not one of them has gone to OT. That's a little strange, yes?

I mean, I'm sure it's not unprecedented. But that Miami contest took place over 10 months ago, and in those months the Lakers have crammed in almost 90 games, all resolved within the appointed 48 minutes. If the streak keeps going long enough, it'll be at exactly 100 games when we get to the All-Star break. To put it in a little bit of context, I looked at how often the rest of the league has been going to OT since the Lakers last had to work an extra shift. See what I found, after the flip.

Since March 4, 2010, the other 29 NBA teams have averaged about 3.9 overtime games apiece. The Pistons, Grizzlies and Heat have gone to OT most often: each of them has played seven overtime games in this stretch. The average "overtime-less streak" among these 29 teams is about 14 games. Over half the league has played OT at least once within their eight most recent contests.

No team can match the Lake Show's magical 88-game streak, but there are a few working on comparable runs. The Raptors have gone an even 50 games without playing OT, and the Mavericks are at 55. By far the closest competitor, though, is the Denver Nuggets. It's actually been a longer period of time since the Nugs played OT - since February 18, 2010, to be exact. But because they got bounced early in last year's playoffs, their streak covers "only" 76 games, meaning that in probabilistic terms, the Lakers put them to shame.

What does it all mean? Nothing. It's just one of those weird things. But let's all take a guess as to when we'll finally get to see the Lakers battle in OT again. Can the streak reach 100? I'm not sure my heart could take all that non-excitement.

Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.

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