The Philadelphia 76ers won their first game of the season and ended a 28-game losing streak dating to last season, overtaking the Lakers for a 103-91 victory Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia.
Kobe Bryant, fresh off the announcement that he'll retire after the season, came out on fire after receiving a warm ovation from the home crowd -- scoring nine quick points on three of four shooting.
The 17-time All-Star significantly cooled off, hitting just four of his next 22 attempts to finish with 20 points in 32 minutes. The Sixers (1-18) outscored the Lakers 53-33 in the second half, dropping the Lakers to 2-15 on the season in Bryant's final visit to Philadelphia as a player.
Robert Covington was the game's leading scorer with 23 points. The 76ers also got 14 points each from Jerami Grant and Nerlens Noel, and 12 apiece from Jahlil Okafor, Isaiah Canaan and Hollis Thompson. Philadelphia shot 46.8% from the field, 43.8% from three-point range (14 for 32) and 65.2% from the free-throw line (15 for 23).
The Lakers hit 37.1%, 23.5% (eight for 34) and 70.8% (17 for 24), respectively. Bryant was four for 17 from three-point range, missing 12 of his last 13 attempts, and seven for 26 overall.
Jordan Clarkson tried to keep the Lakers alive in the second half and finished with 19 points for the game. The team also got 12 points each from Julius Randle (with 10 rebounds) and D'Angelo Russell.
Lou Williams rejoined the Lakers after missing two games after the passing of his grandfather. He finished with nine points in 21 minutes. One of Williams' baskets was waved off after rookie Larry Nance Jr. grabbed the rim on a shot that would have gone in.
If the Lakers aren't able to compete over a 48-minute period against the likes of the Sixers, perhaps the Lakers do end up keeping their 2016 draft pick. Philadelphia will get the selection if the Lakers do not get through the NBA's draft lottery with a top-three selection, via the Lakers' Steve Nash trade with the Phoenix Suns.
With the second-worst record, behind the Sixers, the Lakers have a 55.8% chance of keeping a top-three selection. If they overtake Philadelphia in the loss column, the Lakers' chances improve to 64.3%
Before the game, Julius Erving presented Bryant with a framed Lower Merion High jersey -- Bryant's old number 24. After the Sixers pulled away with the win, the crowd cheered "Ko-be!" in appreciation for his long career.
The Lakers travel to Washington to play the Wizards (6-8) on Wednesday.