The Lakers lost again (no surprise), and the Philadelphia 76ers finally won (surprise!). Here are five things we learned from the Lakers’ 103-91 loss Tuesday in Philadelphia.
1. Kobe Bryant is just going to keep shooting and shooting. He started off fine, making three of four three-point attempts, but missed 18 of his next 22 shots. Eighteen of his next 22! Writers covering the game had to quickly scuttle the “Dream Farewell in Hometown” angle.
2. Byron Scott is just going to let Bryant shoot and shoot. Scott even said afterward that, yeah, sometimes you live with Bryant and sometimes you die with him. When does the living part start this season? The Lakers are now 2-15.
3. Philadelphia fans actually have some heart. After almost two decades of continually booing Bryant, they cheered him. It was a classy move. Bryant deserved it too. He loves Philly, even if Philly doesn’t love him back. It was a touching goodbye to the place where he grew up.
4. That first-round draft pick is definitely in play for the Lakers. It is top-three protected and can be theirs if they keep losing like this. That they fell to Philadelphia (1-18) could help them down the road in possible bottom-of-the-standings jockeying. The rematch between the teams is Jan. 1 at Staples Center. Lottery lovers will watch it breathlessly.
5. Jahlil Okafor is going to be a very good player. His post moves are already reminiscent of a five-year veteran, and he started figuring out the much taller Roy Hibbert in the fourth quarter. If only Okafor had two or three more inches of height.