Lakers drop below .500 after loss to 76ers, 103-99
Sixers 103 - Lakers 99 (end of regulation)
The Sixers upended the Lakers 103-99 at Staples Center Tuesday night. Jrue Holiday, who missed the December game between the two clubs, scored 26 points and dished 10 assists.
The Lakers struggled to deal with Philadelphia’s pick and roll much of the night. Spencer Hawes seemed to hit a long jumper every time the Lakers needed a crucial stop. Philadelphia missed four-straight free throws but the Lakers didn’t have the time (or ability) to close the gap.
Kobe Bryant scored 36 points on 14-29 shooting. Four of his teammates hit double figures, led by 13 from Metta World Peace.
The Sixers also got 22 points and 13 rebounds from guard Evan Turner. Philadelphia shot 47.7% from the field; the Lakers hit 39.4% and missed 11 free throws (22-33).
Both Dwight Howard (1-7 shooting) and Pau Gasol (2-12) struggled offensively. Howard had seven points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. Gasol scored 11 with nine rebounds and four assists.
Philadelphia climbs to 15-17 on the season; the Lakers dip back under .500 (15-16).
Sixers 81 - Lakers 73 (end of third quarter)
Nothing in the third quarter seemed to come easy to the Lakers as they struggled to both score and defend against the Sixers. The Lakers’ eight-point deficit seemed like it should have been more, but the Philadelphia missed a number of open jumpers.
While Jrue Holiday scored 22 for the Sixers, the Lakers got 12 combined rom Pau Gasol (2-10 shooting) and Dwight Howard (1-6).
The Lakers missed 11 free throws (16-27), more than the Sixers took as a team (10-10). Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 27 points.
Sixers 54 - Lakers 50 (halftime)
The Lakers climbed ahead of the Sixers by four points, only to see Philadelphia go on a late run to close the half up four.
Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard struggled, shooting a combined 1-11 in the half (Gasol had the lone basket). The Lakers shot 42.6% as a team while hitting just 1-11 from three-point range.
The Sixers were led by Jrue Holiday with 13 points and Evan Turner with 11, while shooting 47.8% from the field as a team.
Howard went to the bench at the end of the second with his third personal foul. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 17 points.
Sixers 28 - Lakers 25 (end of first quarter)
Jordan Hill brought energy off the bench to lift the Lakers from 11 down to just three by the end of the first quarter 28-25. Hill scored eight points including two emphatic dunks, along with six boards (three offensive).
The Sixers were shooting well over 70% in the early going while holding the Lakers to just 18%. The numbers balanced out by the end of the period with the Sixers at 47.8% and the Lakers at 42.3%.
Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 11. Kobe Bryant was the high man for the Lakers with 10.
The Lakers (15-15) will finish their season series against the Philadelphia 76ers (14-17) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
The Sixers are still without Andrew Bynum, the former Laker and centerpiece of the Dwight Howard trade. Bynum’s knees still haven’t allowed him to play a single game this season for Philadelphia.
The Lakers won their previous meeting with Philadelphia, 111-98, but the Sixers were without their leading scorer and starting-point guard in Jrue Holiday. Steve Nash and Pau Gasol also sat out the Dec. 16 meeting in Philadelphia.
With three full days of rest, the Lakers should be ready for the Sixers.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Trail Blazers.
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