The Lakers (7-27) won their second game in a row, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers (3-32) on Friday night.
Here are five takeaways from their 93-84 victory at Staples Center:
1. Kobe Bryant sat out with a sore shoulder, which tightened up in the Lakers’ win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Coach Byron Scott gave him the night off to try to get healthy, with the hope he’d be ready to go on Sunday when the Lakers host the Phoenix Suns.
Bryant has missed five games this season. The win over the Sixers was the Lakers’ first victory without their long-time All-Star.
Friday night was also the first time this season the Lakers won on back-to-back nights.
Rookie Anthony Brown started in Bryant’s place, playing almost 22 minutes, while scoring five points with five rebounds.
“Anthony Brown, I thought, came in and played great,” Scott said. “He rebounded the ball, played good, solid defense [and] took the shots that were given to him.”
2. Lou Williams was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points, his fifth game this season with at least 20.
Nick Young collected four steals, tying a career high.
Larry Nance Jr. collected a career-best 14 rebounds, reaching personal highs in both offensive (six) and defensive (eight) boards.
The Lakers managed the win despite shooting just 37.9% from the field. The Sixers were slightly worse at 36.9%, with 16 turnovers. The Lakers had 12 miscues.
D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with a plus-minus of 11 points. Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor had a plus-minus of -11 points.
3. “I really liked the fact that we really didn’t shoot the ball well at all, but defensively, we hung in there, kept competing,” Scott said. “At halftime, the one thing that I told them is that they have to continue to try to push the pace against that team, and just don’t allow them to outwork us. I thought our guys played pretty hard for 48 minutes.”
The Lakers won the final period by seven (31-24) and the third quarter by three (22-19). After a 21-21 tie after the first 12 minutes, the Sixers won their only quarter, by just a single point (20-19).
4. Julius Randle and Nance combined to score 23 points with 23 rebounds, primarily matched up against Jerami Grant and Richaun Holmes, who combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
“Me and Julius are powerful by committee, that’s how I like to think of it,” Nance said. “We both almost had double-doubles tonight. I felt bad going to get him [via substitution] before he got his 10th rebounds, but I’m just really excited that I think the power forward spot is good for a couple of years.”
The Sixers primarily played Nerlens Noel and Okafor at center, although they did play briefly together as a tandem.
“I thought that [the Lakers’] bigs really made us think about who the most mobile group was on the floor,” said Philadelphia Coach Brett Brown. “I thought Julius Randle did a really good job of getting out into open court, and we opted to again stay with Jerami and split up [Okafor] and Nerlens. Their mobility at times got the better of us.”
5. The Lakers are still in last place in the Western Conference, with a better record than only the 76ers.
The Lakers are 8 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Utah Jazz (14-17) and four behind the 14th-place New Orleans Pelicans (10-20).
Looking ahead to the 2016 NBA draft lottery, the Lakers would have a 55.8% chance of a top-three pick next June. If the Lakers fall below third in the lottery, Philadelphia will get the team’s pick as part of the Steve Nash trade, via the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers hurt their chances at catching the 76ers in the lottery standings with their win on Friday night.