GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Philadelphia 76ers 19 25 29 25 98
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 29 23 30 20 102

Kobe's late points lead Lakers past 76ers 102-98


LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and hit a tiebreaking jumper with 1:15 to play, and the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from consecutive home losses with a 102-98 victory over the pesky Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Pau Gasol had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and Lamar Odom scored 18 points off the bench as the defending champions barely hung on to win the NBA's final game of 2010.

Los Angeles never trailed for the sixth time this season, but also couldn't shake the young Sixers until Philadelphia missed five shots in the final minute.

Jrue Holiday had 19 points and 11 assists and Lou Williams scored 18 points for the Sixers, whose eight-game road trip concludes Monday in New Orleans. The Sixers won at Denver and Phoenix over the past five days, but repeatedly fell just short of taking a late lead in their fourth straight loss to the Lakers.

Philadelphia cut the Lakers' lead to one point midway through the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run led by Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young, who scored 14 points. Holiday's 3-pointer in front of the Lakers' bench again cut the lead to 96-95 with 2:45 left.

After Bryant hit a jumper, Young's three-point play with 1:33 left on a fast break created by Bryant's turnover tied it at 98.

Bryant hit another mid-range jumper, and Philadelphia missed four shots over its final two possessions, including Williams' missed 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. Bryant hit two clinching free throws with 1.9 seconds to play.

Despite the late dramatics, the Lakers won their second straight after three straight blowout losses to head into a home-friendly January schedule with a bit of momentum.

Six days after barely putting up a fight in the Miami Heat's Christmas win at Staples Center, the Lakers built on Wednesday's win at New Orleans by holding off persistent Philadelphia, which refused to wrap up 2010 quietly despite playing its third straight game without Andre Iguodala, who won't return from tendinitis for several more games.

After losing their last two home games by at least 16 points apiece for just the third time in franchise history, the Lakers avoided their first three-game home losing streak since March 2008.

Andrew Bynum had eight points and 15 rebounds in his first start of the season at Staples Center, following up his return to the starting lineup at New Orleans. Odom, who willingly went back to the bench when coach Phil Jackson shook up his struggling lineup, got a warm ovation when he checked in as a reserve.

The Lakers never trailed in the first half, taking a 12-point lead early in the second quarter and staying ahead despite Holiday's 13 points.

NOTES: Los Angeles hasn't lost three straight home games by double digits since February 1993. ... Lakers coach Phil Jackson assisted 76ers coach Doug Collins during their days with the Chicago Bulls. Jackson eventually replaced Collins and led the Bulls to six titles. ... Fans near courtside included Tom Petty, baseball agent Scott Boras, George Lopez and actresses Heather Locklear and Regina King.

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

14 L.A.'s biggest lead of the evening, attained in the third quarter. Philly did not lead once, though they did manage to come all the way back to tie the game at 98 in the final moments.

15 Season-high number of rebounds grabbed by Andrew Bynum.

16 Points in the paint advantage for the Lakers, who utilized their size advantage at several positions (particularly through Bryant, Gasol and Bynum) quite well.

21 Points averaged by Lamar Odom in two games off the bench, adding 18 against Philly after scoring 24 against New Orleans on Wednesday.

33 Points for Kobe Bryant, the first time he's gone for 30+ since Dec. 15 at Indiana (31). Bryant made 13-of-24 shots, scoring from all of his favorite spots on the evening, and sank two critical free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining to seal the game for the Lakers.

51.2 L.A.'s field goal percentage on the evening.

75 Shooting percentage for Pau Gasol, who sank nine of his 12 shots, all in the first three quarters. The Spaniard grabbed eight rebounds as well, second to Bynum's 15, in 33 minutes.

View More Photos

Points Bryant 33 13-24 FG
Rebounds Bynum 2 OFF 13 DEF 15
Assists Artest, Fisher, Odom 4
Steals Bryant, Gasol 2
Blocks Gasol 2


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on tonight's game:
"Well they stayed very resilient, that team did, and found a way to get back in the game. It seemed like every time we'd get eleven or twelve or whatever, they'd bring it back under ten points again and you know found a way to close at the end of the game. Pau made a big block that saved us on the side of the minute mark, a shot and scramble situation that I thought we did our best with at the end."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on how they lost such a big lead:
"There were too many mistakes, we made too many mistakes. You know, Kobe got an offensive foul, he got stripped of the ball make it a spin dribble, poor passes in the post a couple times, losing the ball in there. And this team runs out very well on mistakes and they capitalized on them."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on losing such a big lead:
"I thought we probably should have had a double digit lead coming in at half time. We messed up what we call a last second type of effort full court, and we messed it up twice during the course of the game and it cost us some points. But we went back out and established the direction we wanted to go in, and I thought we did a good job. They had a twenty point in that third quarter and I was harping on the defense, I thought that was too many points for this team."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on bouncing back from their losing streak:
"We shot the ball well, 51% [tonight], it's not 38% or 40% which is what we were shooting last week. We're starting to shoot the ball better and that in itself is an advantage. We play a ton of games in January so I anticipate the playing is going to help us get back."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on whether he is happy of the win or disappointed on the lead slipping away:
"I'm happy that we won. Obviously there's games we are going to be able to close them out better than others, but if you finish with a win you should be satisfied. Obviously they made tough shots; we contested most of them and they were hitting them."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on the difference in the first half compared to the second half:
"I think they started playing better. I think we were controlling a little better the game during first three quarters, then kind of slipped away from us a little bit with turnovers and jump shots…like I said, they started playing better."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on what to do in order to beat their next opponent's [Memphis Grizzlies]:
"Continue to be aggressive, continue to try to set the tone and control the game. I think if we continue to build on what we're doing right now…something to look forward to."

Lakers' Andrew Bynum on how he feels physically:
"I feel pretty good. I don't have any pain, everything went well."

Lakers' Andrew Bynum on whether he is happy with this game from his standpoint:

"I think I could have been a little bit more aggressive offensively…I had a smaller guy on me; I didn't really…use my size and force. Rebounding wise I was there, the ball was coming to me today."

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on the effects of Andrew Bynum being back, especially defensively:
"He's a great shot-blocker. He can defend the rim and use his length. We're so strong at defensive rebounding right now as a team. His size and his efficiency helps us as a team obviously."

Lakers' forward Lamar Odom on his aggressive mindframe this season:
"I've grown a lot. I've been through some things that helped me develop mentally. Being comfortable and being happy is one of them. We practice focus because focus was lacking."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on his dunk over Andres Nocioni and if his legs are back:
"It felt good. I hadn't had one coming down the middle for a while. I feel strong. I've been saying that for a while."

Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant on if he was upset the game was so close:
"Not really. For the most part we did the right things. We rotated well, we closed out the shooters, ran them off the line. They made some really tough shots down the stretch. Lou [Williams] made some really big ones, some contested threes. Some nights you have teams that make those shots. But we were able to weather that storm."

Sixers Coach Doug Collins on the potential game-tying possession:
"I was really proud of our guys. They hung in there and they battled. I thought we had four clean looks at it there. Evan [Turner] had a couple good shots, Lou [Williams], Jrue [Holliday]...I didn't call timeout because I felt we had the ball and we could just push it, and they couldn't take a timeout, maybe make it tough for us to get the ball in and to give them the play we wanted to get in."

Sixers Coach Doug Collins on the Lakers size and on Kobe Bryant:
"They're just so big. I mean 50 points in the paint, and the 17 second-chance points. I mean Gasol, Bynum and Odom are such a load in there. And then you saw Kobe Bryant, I mean he's the guy, they got in trouble and he made the big baskets. That's what he's done his whole career."

Sixers Coach Doug Collins on the Lakers and their focus:
"Well I mean they have no weakness…Phil is the master at managing his team, knowing when to push the envelope a bit and get ready to get serious for the playoffs. I mean he's not going to get too excited if they go 5 and 5 in December or lose a couple games in January. This is a team that self-motivates itself."

Sixers Coach Doug Collins on his team's youth:
"We're growing up. We've been on this long trip, I think we're playing really good basketball and I told our guys they should be looking forward to the new year because we have a lot of good things to be thankful for."

Sixers Coach Doug Collins on how his team has been improving as the season has progressed:
"Our guys are really maturing. That's exactly what I told our guys. I said 'from where we started to where we are now, we should start thinking big things.' We should hold ourselves to the highest standard."

Sixers' forward Elton Brand on the Lakers height:
"You've got to use speed and quickness and stuff like that. I think we did a good job of spreading the ball and taking open shots and that's how we made our run but they pack the paint with two 7 footers and Lamar who is 6'11"."

Sixers' guard Jrue Holiday on the Sixers' effort:
"We played hard and we gave it our all that's all you can ask for."

Sixers' guard Jrue Holiday on the teams late run:
We always make those runs. Definitely playing the Lakers and me being home, I'm excited jumping around like a little kid, we're always going to play. We really wanted to win this game

Sixers' guard Jrue Holiday on goals for 2011:
" We think we're making the playoffs. That's our goal to make the playoffs. That's been our goal from the beginning even though we started in a slump."

Sixers' forwad Evan Turner:
"He hits tough shots. He can pull up at the top on a dime and just hits tough shots. Even if you stop him he just hits shots further away."



The Los Angeles Lakers made a minor lineup adjustment which paid huge dividends to help end their recent skid, while the Philadelphia 76ers have been forced to play without one of their top players.

Los Angeles looks for its second win against Philadelphia in 14 days when the Lakers host the 76ers on Friday night.

The Lakers (22-10) ended a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 103-88 win against New Orleans, using Lamar Odom off the bench for the first time this season.

Odom, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Andrew Bynum, responded with a team-high 24 points. It was the most by a Lakers player coming off the bench since Tierre Brown had 27 in Feb. 7, 2005.

Bynum also took advantage of the increased minutes, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

"Some people could have took that personally," Odom said. "It didn't matter to me, honestly."

The dominating victory got the Lakers back on track after losing three straight by an average of 16.7 points.

"We played much better. We executed much better. Our defense did an excellent job," Bryant said. "(Bynum) makes a big difference plugging up the middle, rebounding. He's moving better. ... He seems to be more stable, more active."

Bynum missed 24 games after undergoing knee surgery in late October.

Odom scored a season-high 28 points and played 42 minutes in a 93-81 victory over the 76ers on Dec. 17. The Lakers outscored Philadelphia 35-19 in the fourth quarter, despite Kobe Bryant being held to a season-low nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.

Andre Iguodala scored 18 for Philadelphia, but he's missed the last two games with recurring tendinitis in his right Achilles'. He sat out five games in November with the same injury.

Evan Turner, who has struggled since Philadelphia (13-19) made him the No. 2 pick in June's draft, stepped up in Iguodala's absence Wednesday and scored a career-high 23 points in a 123-110 victory in Phoenix.

Turner is averaging only 6.8 points in 24.1 minutes, prompting coach Doug Collins to sit down with his young player and discuss his play.

"The team talked to me earlier and said I just needed to step up and I was just looking for my own shot a little bit," said the former Ohio State standout.

Jrue Holiday had his third straight 20-point performance, scoring 25 for Philadelphia, which is 3-3 on its season-high eight-game road trip. Andres Nocioni added 22 points and 12 rebounds.

"That was about as complete a win as we've had all season long," Collins said.

Philadelphia expects guard Lou Williams to return to the lineup after missing the last two for the birth of his daughter. Williams is fourth on the team with 11.8 points per game, one of five players averaging in double figures.

Los Angeles has won six of seven against the 76ers, but Bryant - a Philadelphia native - has scored fewer than 20 in three of the last four.

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 Kobe Bryant (sprained pinkie finger, right hand) will play.
Andrew Bynum
(right knee surgery) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is out.

Andre Iguodala (tendinitis, right achilles) is a game-time decision.

12/17 - LAL @ PHI W 93-81
12/31 - PHI @ LAL

In the two weeks since we played Philly they have played six games all part of the season long eight game road trip. Thus far they have gone 3-3 with the most recent game being a solid win at Phoenix without Andre Iguodala (sat out with Achilles tendonitis). This team continues to improve and is gaining in aggressiveness and confidence as the season rolls on. They started the season 3-13 and during this struggle they were shooting six fewer free throws a game than their opponents. Since that point they have gone 10-6 and are now shooting 2 free throws more per game than their opponents. As they get more comfortable in Coach Doug Collins' system he is gradually adding plays to their offensive menu. Most of these actions start by having the ball swung from one side to the other. It will be up to us as a defensive group to not allow them to simply move the ball around in a comfortable manner.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


The Lakers lead the season series with Philadelphia 1-0 after having swept last season's series with the Sixers 2-0. This will be the 266th meeting between the two franchises dating back to 1950 (184th in the Los Angeles era) and the 158th since the Sixers moved to Philadelphia prior to the 1963-64 season. The Lakers are 9-2 all-time against the 76ers at STAPLES Center. In Philadelphia, the Lakers have now won four straight but are 4-6 in their last 10 games in the city of brotherly love.

Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 14-8 versus Philadelphia (9-1 at home, 5-7 on the road). In their last meeting earlier this month in Philadelphia (12/17/10), the Lakers held the Sixers to 81 points, bettering the old series record of 82 points that was set on Christmas Day of 2002. Kobe Bryant has played 27 games (23 starts) against his hometown Sixers, averaging 22.3 points per game. In January of 2006 vs. 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 21.9 average over 17 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. Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Elton Brand all played together as teenagers in the famed AAU program at Riverside Church in New York.


In the first half of their 103-88 victory December 29th at New Orleans, the Lakers shot a season-high .676 from the field while limiting the Hornets to just seven rebounds in the first 24 minutes. The Hornets seven rebounds (4 offensive, 3 defensive) equal the fewest ever for a Lakers opponent in a half, matching the Mavericks total of seven in a half 2/4/86 vs. Dallas.


With 20 points 12/29 at New Orleans, Kobe Bryant moved to within 75 points of Dominique Wilkins (26,668) for 10th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), Bryant passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.1 ppg), Bryant (26,593) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant and Wilkins are Oscar Robertson (9th/26,710), Hakeem Olajuwon (8th/26,946), Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409).

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years and last season alone, passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195), Gary Payton (21,813) and Larry Bird (21,791).

In their victory at New Orleans on December 29th, the Lakers posted season-highs for field goal percentage in a quarter (1st quarter/.750), half (1st half/.676) and game (.586) after connecting on only 37.9 percent of their shots in the previous two games combined. Additionally, it was the first time this season that each of the Lakers starters (Artest, Gasol, Bynum, Bryant, Fisher) shot 50 percent or better from the field in the same game.*

On Christmas Day, the Lakers lost by 16 points to Miami. In their previous game on December 21st, they lost by 19 points to Milwaukee. With both losses coming at home, it's only the 3rd time in franchise history that the Lakers have lost back-to-back home games by at least 16 points. The team was in Minneapolis the previous two times this occurred, once in January 1959 and once in November/December 1959. In both cases, the Lakers played at least one road game in between losses.* The Lakers last lost three straight home games by any margin in March of 2008: 3/23 vs. GS (111-115), 3/26 vs. CHA (95-108), 3/28 vs. MEM (111-114). The last time the Lakers lost three straight home games, each by double-figures, came in January/February of 1993: 1/18 vs. HOU (90-110), 1/20 vs. SEA (101-111), 2/2 vs. ORL (97-110).

On December 30th, the NBA announced its SECOND returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting with Kobe Bryant (1,153,694) LEADING all players in All-Star voting, ahead of Dwight Howard (988,572) and LeBron James (969,459). Pau Gasol (597,201), who made his third All-Star team last season as a reserve, now ranks 3rd among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (735,521) and Carmelo Anthony (602,516). Andrew Bynum (376,283) ranks 2nd among West centers behind Yao Ming (637,527), while Chris Paul (585,690) ranks 2nd among West guards behind Bryant. In the East, James and Kevin Garnett (712,555) lead the forward voting, Dwyane Wade (938,402) and Rajon Rondo (777,310) are the top two vote-getters at guard and Howard leads all East centers in balloting.
In each of the last three seasons, Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant received 2,456,224 votes, finishing second overall to Cleveland's LeBron James (2,549,693). In 2008-09, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and 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 a 12-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing last year's contest due to a sprained left ankle. Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, led all players in NBA All-Star balloting in 2003. Gasol has made three All-Star appearances (2006, 2009, 2010) and in 2009, became the 27th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team.

Last season, with his 29th point on February 1, 2010 at Memphis, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the Lakers all-time leading scorer. In the history of the NBA, only two players have scored more points with a single franchise than Bryant (26,593): Karl Malone (1st/36,374) and Michael Jordan (2nd/29,277). This season, Bryant has moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,511) for 3rd on this list (12/19 at Toronto) and John Havlicek (26,395) for 4th (12/10 at Chicago).

Entering the Lakers game vs. Philadelphia, Derek Fisher has played in 445 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, the longest consecutive games streak among all active NBA players. Fisher moved into the top position after Portland's Andre Miller (632) missed the Blazers game against Phoenix (12/7/10) due to NBA suspension. Additionally, Fisher has started 323 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than a season's worth of games (2nd – Luis Scola). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

With their loss December 28th at San Antonio, the Lakers saw their five game road win streak come to an end while extending a different, rather dubious streak. In falling to the Spurs 82-97, the Lakers lost three consecutive games by double-figures for the first time since March of 2007, when they lost five consecutive games by 10 or more points (3/6/07 – 3/15/07, 4 road losses, 1 home).

With their 109-94 victory in Indiana on December 15th, the Lakers recorded their FIFTH wire-to-wire win of the season. The Lakers other wire-to-wire victories came against the Warriors (10/31 vs. GS, 11/21 vs. GS), Grizzlies (11/2 vs. MEM) and Wizards (12/7 vs. WAS). Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire-to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

This season, the Lakers are 4-2 in the first game and 5-1 in the second of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

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