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UCLA, Lakers set the standard for win streaks in Los Angeles

The Clippers could set a franchise record with a 12th consecutive victory Friday, but they have a long way to go to match the Lakers' NBA record of 33 in a row in 1971-72 season. John Wooden's UCLA teams won 88 in a row from 1971 to 1974.

December 20, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Blake Griffin scored 18 points in the Clippers victory over the New Orleans Hornets, 93-77, during the Clippers' franchise record tying 11th win in a row.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points in the Clippers victory over the New Orleans… (Harry How / Getty Images )

President Gerald Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev negotiated the SALT II Treaty in Vladivostok, a 3.2-million-year-old skeleton later named "Lucy" was discovered by anthropologists in Ethiopia and the top song on the charts was "I Can Help," by crossover artist Billy Swan.

And … the Buffalo Braves' franchise record 11-game winning streak ended with a two-point loss in Chicago, despite Bob McAdoo's 31-point performance.

The date of all these seismic events? Nov. 24, 1974.

In other words, it was a very long time ago. Thirty-eight years later, the Clippers are poised to eclipse that mark put down in the franchise's birthplace (Buffalo, N.Y.). A Clippers victory Friday against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center would be their 12th in a row, and would rewrite another line on the script of L.A sports history.

Here's a look at some other winning streaks for local teams:

PRO BASKETBALL

Remember the Lakers? Of course you do.

They won 33 consecutive games, from Nov. 5, 1971 to Jan. 7, 1972, the longest run in the history of professional sports.

Notable: That group won a then-record 69 regular-season games and captured the team's first NBA championship in Los Angeles. Jerry West apparently refused to get rid of his worn game shoes until the winning streak ended.

PRO BASEBALL

The Dodgers twice had 13-game winning streaks, May 21 to June 1, 1962 and Sept. 16-30, 1965. (Brooklyn won 15 straight in 1924.)

In the '60s, the Angels won 11 consecutive games. That franchise high was established June 16-26, 1964.

Notable: The 13-game winning streak in the last two weeks of the 1965 season enabled the Dodgers to clinch the pennant, edging the San Francisco Giants on the second-to-last day of the season. Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale combined to go 49-20 that season and the Dodgers won the World Series.

PRO HOCKEY

Remember when hockey was played around here?

The search for the longest winning streaks for the currently locked-out Kings and Ducks does not involve combing through dusty old history books. The Kings' longest winning streak was nine games, Jan. 21, 2010, through Feb. 6, 2010, and the Ducks' streak of seven games was from Feb. 20 to March 7, 1999.

Notable: The Ducks put a halt to the Kings' winning streak shortly before the Olympic break, beating them on Feb. 8, boosted by Corey Perry's goal and two assists. There is still a search for a clever name for the Kings-Ducks rivalry. Could be a long, long wait through the lockout till we have one.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

It all starts and ends with basketball. Decades later, 88 still is an eye-popping number. That would be the 88 consecutive victories by the legendary John Wooden UCLA teams, from Jan. 30, 1971 to Jan. 17, 1974.

Notable: The basketball run ended with a famed loss at Notre Dame. It happened to be Bill Walton's senior season. The disappointment stayed with Walton, which he expressed in an interview with The Times in 2010. "It should have been 105," Walton said.

OK, there is a need for a dusty history book. Or at least a comprehensive Internet site. USC's longest winning streak for its basketball team was 18 games in … drum roll, please, the 1909-10 season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Given USC's pedigree in recent decades, you'd expect its football winning-streak record would come from the recent past. Not so.

It turns out the Trojans' record for consecutive wins for their football program was 25 games, from Oct. 3, 1931 to Oct. 14, 1933.

Notable: Of course, USC did win 34 straight games from 2003 to 2005, but later the NCAA vacated 14 of the victories.

The UCLA football team's high mark is 20 straight wins: Sept. 13, 1997 to Nov. 21, 1998.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

Times staff writer Houston Mitchell contributed to this report.

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