PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 5 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson led by example.

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Iverson scored 39 points and Glenn Robinson added 26 as the Philadelphia 76ers put forth one of their best efforts of the season, pasting the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-73.

Following a disheartening loss to Toronto on Tuesday, Iverson criticized his teammates for a lack of heart, hustle and toughness. In his first chance to set the tone, the All-Star guard was dominant in helping to hand Los Angeles its worst loss of the season.

Iverson, who has at least 30 points in five of his last six games, shied away from taking credit for the team's performance.

"I hope it didn't take that," he said. "But if it did, I'm happy it worked because guys came out and played hard. They did whatever it took to get a win. I tried to make sure I led by example as well. But I never worry about myself. I'm going to come out and play hard regardless if I play well or not."

"Allen Iverson is going to tell you how it is," Philadelphia center Samuel Dalembert said. "That is one thing I like about him. We need to realize that is how it is."

Iverson outscored the Lakers by himself in the opening quarter, scoring a dozen points as Philadelphia led 25-10 after 12 minutes.

Iverson had 20 points at the half and 36 through three quarters. He sat a good portion of the fourth as the 76ers carried a 27-point cushion into the final quarter.

"It's a game, it's another game that we have to play, regardless if we were playing against a team with the worst record in the league," Iverson said. "It was just important for us to get a win, regardless if it was ugly, regardless if it was a blowout. We didn't care, we just wanted to get a win."

Robinson's 11th point of the game also was the 14,000th of his career. He made 9-of-15 shots from the field as Philadelphia snapped a three-game losing streak.

Philadelphia coach Randy Ayers was cautious when asked about the affect of Iverson's comments.

"Well, we will see," Ayers said. "(You are) probably going to see the impact of that on Saturday night (vs. Boston). I think everybody can get up to play the Lakers because they are the marquee team in the league."

Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points but missed 12-of-15 free-throw attempts for the Lakers, who fell to 2-2 on their season-high seven-game road trip.

"We just had dead legs tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "It was obvious that we just didn't have any zip out there at all. ... It's just a matter of a late game last night. Getting in here at four in the morning, and guys physically not capable of playing in these kinds of conditions."

"We took advantage of them coming in late (last night), and we took advantage of them not shooting the ball well," said Robinson, who became the 112th player to reach the 14,000-point plateau. "We definitely took advantage of putting Shaq on the free-throw line; he was only 3-of-15 tonight, so that was great for us."

Los Angeles, which already was without Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Rush, lost starting point guard Gary Payton to an ejection just under nine minutes into the contest.

"We didn't want to lose Gary in the first quarter," Jackson said. "I think that (referee Joe Crawford) knew after he did it that he put us at an extreme disadvantage to play the game. This is sports and entertainment. That wasn't entertaining. We lost Gary and he was our leader on the floor. There wasn't any reason for it. It was ridiculous."

The 76ers lost starting forward Kenny Thomas to a sprained right ankle midway through the fourth quarter. He is expected to undergo an MRI on Friday.

"He told me it was the same ankle that he had sprained before," Ayers said. "It didn't look like there was a lot of swelling, but we will see. We will probably do an MRI on him tomorrow and hopefully, things will turn out OK."

Los Angeles, which shot a season-low 34 percent from the field (28-of-82), had never scored less than 80 points against Philadelphia since the introduction of the shot clock. The Lakers also fell to 1-6 in their last seven regular-season games in Philadelphia.