Lakers Gameday | 01/29/10 | 76ers
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Bryant leads Lakers to 99-91 win over 76ers
By DAN GELSTON
Posted Jan 29 2010 9:40PM
PHILADELPHIA(AP) A.I. vs. Kobe delivered the throwback duel fans paid to see. Just like in the 2001 NBA finals, Bryant's Lakers came out on top.
Bryant roused the 20,000 fans who came to jeer him as much as they did to root on the 76ers, scoring 24 points to lead Los Angeles to a 99-91 win over Philadelphia on Friday night.
Bryant always packs the Wachovia Center when the he makes his yearly visit to his old stomping grounds. He rarely disappoints in putting on a show for the fans who boo his every touch, yet line the court to snap countless photos.
While Bryant is still in his prime, Allen Iverson is in a steady decline. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said the All-Star showdown misses some of the buzz of years past when both could make the argument they were tops at their position.
Don't tell Iverson. He crossed-over and crashed his way toward a season-high 23 points.
Iverson and Bryant are responsible for Philadelphia's only two sellouts this season. Iverson's first game back in Philadelphia drew 20,664, and Bryant helped draw 20,809 on Friday.
For a half, each let their teammates do all the scoring. Both Bryant and Iverson scored only two points in the first half, and the Lakers led 51-42 at the break.
Then it got fun.
As if to show the first 24 minutes didn't matter, Bryant caught the first pass of the second half, spun and buried a 14-footer.
He gave the Lakers a brief scare moments later. Elton Brand dove for the ball and tripped up Bryant, who instantly grabbed his left knee and hobbled toward the sideline. The Lakers called time out, allowing Bryant some extra time to lightly jog and test out the knee.
Spoiler alert. Bryant can play like an MVP even when he's banged up. He promptly stole the ball and buried a fadeway that gave the Lakers a 15-point lead.
Iverson, one of the greatest small men in league history, showed he's still got something left in those 34-year-old arthritic legs. He nailed one 3-pointer and two possessions later hit another that sliced the deficit to eight.
Iverson showed a glimpse of his former MVP self when he crossed-over Derek Fisher and tossed up a running bank shot as his 6-foot frame slammed onto the unforgiving court. He sank the free throw to complete the three-point play that was vintage Iverson and make it 68-63.
That was about all Iverson and the Sixers could muster to make this one a truly close one.
Bryant stepped to the line late in the third to chants of ``MVP! MVP!'' only to hear it quickly drowned out by boos. He finished the quarter with a little step-back jumper to offset an invigorated Iverson.
Iverson scored 15 points on 6 for 7 shooting in the third to top Bryant's 5 of 7, 14-point quarter. Iverson and Bryant each made 10 baskets in the game from the floor.
The damage was done. The Lakers built a 16-point lead and played the fourth in cruise control.
Pau Gasol had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Ron Artest scored 18 points and Lamar Odom had 13 for the Lakers.
Elton Brand scored 19 points, and Sam Dalembert had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
NOTES: The Sixers outrebounded the Lakers 44-36. ... The Sixers are only 7-16 at home.
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Lakers vs. 76ers Game Preview
By JEFF MEZYDLO
Posted Jan 28 2010 11:19PM
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers might have felt at home in their most recent contest on a season-high eight-game road trip. That could be the case again on their next stop.
The Lakers try for a third consecutive victory when they visit Bryant's home town looking to hand the Philadelphia 76ers their third straight loss Friday night.
In front of a sellout crowd that chanted "M-V-P" on several occasions, Bryant had 29 points with nine rebounds and seven assists as Los Angeles (35-11) improved to 3-2 on the trip with a 118-96 win at Indiana on Wednesday.
"Kobe's been in the league so long and he's accomplished so much as a player, when you reach that status as a player, you have a following,'' Pacers forward Danny Granger said regarding Bryant's warm reception at Conseco Fieldhouse. "I think of it the same way Michael Jordan had, and LeBron will have.''
The following could be pretty large Friday. Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of suburban Lower Merion High School, Bryant has averaged 26.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in his last seven road games against the 76ers. He had 32 points and six boards in Los Angeles' 114-102 win at Philadelphia in his last visit Dec. 3, 2008.
Though Andre Iguodala's last-second 3-pointer helped the 76ers snap a three-game losing streak in the series with a 94-93 win at Los Angeles on March 17, the Lakers have won their last two games in Philadelphia.
After falling 106-105 at Toronto on Sunday, the Western Conference-leading Lakers are looking for a third straight victory over a team with a losing record.
Andrew Bynum scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Pau Gasol added 21 with 13 rebounds Wednesday for the Lakers, who are averaging 113.3 points on 49.4 shooting since making 38.6 percent of their shots in a 93-87 loss to Cleveland to open the trip.
Bynum is averaging a career-high 15.8 points and 8.4 boards this season, but he was not selected as a reserve for next month's All-Star game despite earning praise from his teammates.
"There are a few guys on this team, Andrew is one of them, that has All-Star caliber potential,'' said Gasol, who was named a reserve Thursday despite missing 17 games with hamstring problems. "Right now, Andrew is definitely one of the top centers in the league.''
Bynum has averaged 19.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last three games against Philadelphia. Gasol is averaging 27.3 and 11.7 boards in his last four against the 76ers.
Philadelphia (15-30) looks to bounce back from a 91-88 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday. Elton Brand had a season-high 26 points with 10 rebounds, but missed a short layup and a 17-foot fadeaway in the final seconds.
"I missed the chippie. So, I'm thinking, 'OK. I got it back.' Could have gotten a better shot, but the shot clock and everything, I thought I could just knock it down,'' said Brand, who went 12 of 20 from the field. "I was making everything. So, I was pretty confident in that (second) shot.''
Iguodala, who's averaged 22.0 points in his last five games against the Lakers, was held to nine on 4-of-11 shooting versus the Bucks, while Allen Iverson went 3 of 10 from the field and finished with six points.
Iverson, selected an All-Star starter opposite Bryant, is averaging 25.8 points and 7.2 assists in 29 career contests against the Lakers.
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Kobe Bryant (avulsion fracture, right index finger) is probable.
Sasha Vujacic (strained right hamstring) is probable.
Luke Walton (pinched nerve, back) is probable.
SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers split last season’s series with Philadelphia 1-1 after sweeping the 2007- 08 series 2-0 for the first time since the 1999-00 season. This will be the 263rd meeting between the two franchises dating back to 1950 (181st in the Los Angeles era) and the 155th since the Sixers moved to Philadelphia prior to the 1963-64 season. The Lakers are 8-2 all-time against the 76ers at STAPLES Center and were undefeated at home in the regular season against Philadelphia under head coach Phil Jackson until losing at STAPLES Center on an Andre Iguodala three pointer at the buzzer on 3/17/09. Under Jackson, the Lakers are 11-7 versus Philadelphia (8-1 at home, 3-6 on the road). Kobe Bryant has played 24 games (20 starts) against his hometown Sixers, averaging 22.9 points per game. In January of 2006 against Philadelphia, Bryant established a new franchise record for three-point field goals without a miss, connecting on all seven of his attempts (10th time in NBA history with a minimum of seven attempts). He finished the game with 48 points, one shy of Jerry West’s Lakers series record of 49 points established in February of 1968. Additionally, Bryant earned the first of his two MVP honors at the 2002 All-Star Game held in Philadelphia. Pau Gasol is the only other Laker averaging 20-plus points against the Sixers for his career, posting a 22.2 average over 14 games with a high of 34 points. Also, Sixers guard Andre Iguodala played two seasons at the University of Arizona and was a freshman during Luke Walton’s final season as a Wildcat in 2002-03, and Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Elton Brand played together as teenagers in the famed AAU program at Riverside Church in New York.
BRYANT 71 POINTS SHY OF JERRY WEST FOR FIRST ON LAKERS ALL-TIME SCORING LIST (14th ON NBA LIST)
With 22 points 1/5 vs. Houston, Kobe Bryant moved past Patrick Ewing (24,815) for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Earlier this season, with 41 points 11/6 vs. Memphis, Bryant moved past Allen Iverson for 16th on the all-time list. Bryant has been steadily moving up the list the last few years and last season alone, passed Charles Barkley (23,757) for 17th, Robert Parish (23,334) for 18th, Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 19th, Elgin Baylor (23,149) for 20th, Clyde Drexler (22,195) for 21st, Gary Payton (21,813) for 22nd and Larry Bird (21,791) for 23rd. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (25,121) are Jerry West (14th/25,192) and Reggie Miller (13th/25,279).
Additionally, with his free throw at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter November 19th vs. Chicago, Bryant moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (24,176) for 2nd on the Lakers all-time franchise scoring list. While only Jerry West (25,192) has scored more points with the Lakers than Bryant (25,121), at his current scoring average (28.3 ppg), Bryant would surpass West approximately three games from now 2/1/10 at Memphis.
JACKSON TWO WINS SHY OF RILEY FOR MOST REGULAR SEASON VICTORIES IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
With a victory over the Indiana Pacers January 27th, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson (531) moved within two games of Pat Riley’s franchise-record 533 regular season victories with the Lakers. The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.707), Jackson ranks 12th in all-time regular season games coached and 1st in playoff games coached (300), won (209) and playoff winning percentage (.697). Last season, Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 career victories, needing 1,423 games to reach the mark, arriving at the mark 11 games earlier than Riley (1,434 career games). Earlier this season, Jackson (1,076) moved past Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown for 5th on the NBA’s all-time coaching win list with a victory over Detroit (11/17/09). Earning induction in his 1st year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 10 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Don Nelson (2nd) and Lenny Wilkens (1st) have more career victories than Jackson while of the top five, Jackson has coached 1,000+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, nearly 500 fewer games than Riley and roughly 400 fewer games than Sloan.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES FOR EVERYONE
In the Lakers 118-96 victory January 27th at Indiana, Andrew Bynum (27 points, 12 rebounds), Pau Gasol (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Lamar Odom (12 points, 14 rebounds) all posted double-doubles, marking the fourth time this season that three Lakers have recorded double-doubles in the same game (12/19 at New Jersey: Bryant, Gasol, Odom, 12/29 vs. Golden State: Bryant, Gasol, Odom, 1/13 at Dallas: Bynum, Odom, Artest). Prior to this season, three Lakers had last posted double-doubles in the same game back on March 4, 2008 at Sacramento. In the 2007-08 campaign, three Lakers posted double-doubles in the same game three times: 3/4/08 at SAC, 1/29/08 vs. NY and 11/9/07 vs. MIN. Prior to the 2007-08 season, three Lakers had not posted double-doubles in the same game since 3/27/05 vs. Philadelphia: Bryant (34 points, 10 rebounds), Chris Mihm (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Caron Butler (13 points, 10 rebounds).
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
On Wednesday January 20th, the Lakers headed east to Cleveland, embarking upon their longest road-trip of the season. The Lakers 8-game trip is the team’s 11th stretch of eight or more consecutive road games in franchise history and the 5th in the NBA’s modern era which includes the end of neutral court games prior to the 1974- 75 season and the inception of the 82-game schedule prior to the 1976-77 season. On the 8-game trip that takes them through Cleveland, New York, Toronto, the White House and Verizon Center in Washington DC, Indiana, Philadelphia, Boston and Memphis, the Lakers will travel more than 8,469 miles over 13 days through two countries.
* neutral court games included along with road games
Wednesday’s game against the Pacers was the second of a back-to-back set with Washington and Indiana. This season, the Lakers are 8-4 in the first game and 9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games, the most the team has played in a single season since playing 22 sets of back-to-backs during the 1999-00 campaign. Last year, the Lakers played 19 sets of back-to-backs, going 14-5 in the first game and 14-5 in the second as well. Charlotte, Detroit and Milwaukee lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2009-10 while New Orleans (15) and San Antonio (17) will play the fewest sets this season.
BRYANT RETAINS NO. 1 SPOT ON NBA’S MOST POPULAR JERSEYS LIST
On January 20th, the NBA released its Most Popular Jerseys list with Kobe Bryant’s #24 once again listed as no. 1, a ranking Bryant has now held since the start of the 2008-09 season. The rankings, based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com since the start of the 2009-10 season, once again list the Los Angeles Lakers as no. 1 in “Most Popular NBA Team Merchandise.” Additionally, Lakers forward/center Pau Gasol (10th) rounds out the top 10 most popular jerseys. (1) Bryant (2) James (3) Howard (4) Rose (5) Wade (6) Garnett (7) Paul (8) Pierce (9) S. O’Neal (10) Gasol / (1) Lakers (2) Celtics (3) Cavaliers (4) Knicks (5) Bulls
BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 25,000 CAREER POINTS; 15th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE
With a free throw at the three minute mark of the 2nd quarter January 21st at Cleveland, Kobe Bryant scored his 25,000th career point, becoming the 15th NBA player in league history to do so as well as the youngest ever to reach the milestone at 31 years and 151 days of age. Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days) in terms of youngest to 25,000, with Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) ranking 3rd and 4th respectively. In terms of games, Bryant (989 games) became the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960) but ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon (1,057). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 25,000, doing so in 691 games. Michael Jordan (782) and Abdul-Jabbar (889) rank 2nd and 3rd behind Chamberlain.
Earlier this season, with a second-quarter basket November 6th against the Grizzlies, Kobe Bryant (31 years, 75 days) became the youngest player in NBA history to score 24,000 points, reaching the milestone ahead of Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 113 days). In terms of games, of the 17 players to now have scored 24,000 points, Bryant is the 9th fastest to do so in terms of games (954). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest in league history to score 24,000 points, doing so in just 653 games.
Last season, with 34 points February 10 vs. Oklahoma City, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 23,000 points (30 years, 171 days), reaching the milestone FIVE days younger than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 176 days). In terms of games, of the 21 players to score 23,000 points, Bryant was the 11th fastest to do so, reaching the mark in 917 games. Earlier in the year, with 28 points December 2 at Indiana, Bryant became the 22nd player in NBA history to score 22,000 points and in doing so, became the 2nd youngest player ever to 22,000 points (30 years, 101 days), one day older than Wilt Chamberlain (30 years, 100 days) who scored his 22,000th point on 11/26/66. The youngest player in league history to accumulate 15,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 25,000 points, Bryant became the 12th fastest to 22,000 points in terms of games, reaching the mark in 881 career games. Through his career, Bryant has been 29th fastest to 15,000, 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000 and 11th fastest to 23,000 points in terms of games.
BRYANT LEADING VOTE-GETTER IN WEST, WILL START 12th CONSECUTIVE ALL-STAR GAME
On January 21st, the NBA announced the starters for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas, TX. Kobe Bryant (2,456,224), who led all players in All-Star voting for the first four returns of balloting, finished second overall to Cleveland’s LeBron James (2,549,693) in total votes but still topped the Western Conference for the third consecutive season. Joining Bryant in the West are Carmelo Anthony (2,137,560), Tim Duncan (1,156,696), Amar’e Stoudemire (1,824,093) and Steve Nash (1,222,235). In the East, James will be joined by Kevin Garnett (1,978,116), Dwight Howard (2,360,096), Allen Iverson (1,269,568) and Dwyane Wade (2,327,550).
Pau Gasol (1,051,784), who made his second All-Star team last season as a reserve and became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be name an All-Star, ranked 4th in balloting among West forwards behind Anthony, Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki (1,093,005) but ahead of Kevin Durant (870,567) while Andrew Bynum (981,355) ranked 2nd among West centers behind Stoudemire. In selecting the reserves, the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement. Reserves will be announced 1/28/10 on TNT.
In each of the last two seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and LeBron James (2,940,823). In 2007-08, Bryant garnered 2,004,940 votes to finish fourth in overall voting behind Kevin Garnett (2,399,148), James (2,108,831) and Howard (2,066,991). In 2006-07, when he earned his second All-Star MVP, Bryant finished third overall in balloting behind James and Yao Ming. A three-time All-Star MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix), Bryant is now a 12-time All-Star and will start his 12th consecutive All-Star game on Sunday, February 14. Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, led all players in NBA All-Star balloting in 2003.
SHANNON BROWN TO PARTICIPATE IN 2010 SPRITE SLAM DUNK
On January 18, the NBA announced that Lakers guard Shannon Brown will compete against defending champion Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks, Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats and the winner of the NBA’s first ever All-Star Dunk-In between Eric Gordon of the LA Clippers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors. Brown, who competed in the 2003 High School McDonald’s All American dunk contest against LeBron James, Von Wafer and J.R. Giddens, will be the fourth Laker to ever compete in the NBA’s Slam Dunk contest, joining Michael Cooper (1984), Antonio Harvey (1995) and 1997 Slam Dunk Champion Kobe Bryant.