Postgame Report - Lakers vs. Sixers - 1/29/2010
Lakers 99 Sixers 91
Bryant leads Lakers to 99-91 win over 76ers
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.
- With the win tonight, the Lakers have won four of the past five over the Sixers, including three straight at Wachovia Center. Philly has lost three straight for the first time since12/19-12/26. Los Angeles has won four of its past five games.
- Philly scored just 91 points tonight. Los Angeles improves to 25-2 when holding its opponent below 100 points this season. The Sixers have scored below 100 points in eight of the past 10 games (95.5 ppg) after averaging 103.3 ppg the seven games prior.
- The Sixers had just 19 assists to 20 turnovers tonight, marking their second straight game with more turnovers than assists. It is just the second time this season Philly has committed 20+ turnovers (1/5 vs. Washington).
- The Lakers had just 10 turnovers tonight. Over the past two games, Philly is forcing just 9.5 tpg. The Sixers are 3-9 when the opposition commits 12 or fewer turnovers this season. Philly scored just 9 points off turnovers tonight after scoring a season-low 6 at Milwaukee on 1/27.
- Los Angeles led 76-67 after three quarters of play. The Lakers improve to 30-1 when tied or ahead at the start of the fourth quarter this season while the Sixers fall to 2-22 when tied or trailing after three quarters of play.
- Philly had 10 blocks tonight. The Sixers have recorded 10+ blocks six times this season after doing so three times in 2008-09.
- Allen Iverson scored a season-high 23 points, marking his second 20-point effort over the past three games. The Sixers are 2-4 when he scores 20+ points this season, 5-2 when he scores 15-19 and 1-7 when he scores below 15.
- Kobe Bryant had just 2 points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half but finished with a game-high 24 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter. Iverson scored 15 in the third for Philly.
- Samuel Dalembert had 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. He has seven double-doubles over the past 13 games after having four the first 33 games of the season. He has grabbed 10+ boards in 12 of the past 13 games (13.0 rpg). Dalembert also had 3 steals and 4 blocks.
- The Sixers scored just 32 points in the paint tonight. Over the past four games, Philly is averaging just 34.5 PIP after averaging 44.0 the five games prior.
- Andre Iguodala scored 8 points tonight, marking the sixth time this month (14 games played) that hes scored in single-digits. Iguodala had 5 turnovers to 4 assists tonight after having a 3.12 assist-to-turnover ratio the 10 games prior. Philly had just 20 free throw attempts tonight, including 5 in the second half. Over the past nine games, the Sixers are averaging just 21.7 FTA.
- Sixers fans and players donated a total of 1143 pairs of shoes to tonights Souls4Shoes drive.