Andrew Bynum had a season-high 15 rebounds, helping the Los Angeles Lakers to a 102-98 win against the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center to close out 2010 on a high note. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 33 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 1:15 remaining, as the Lakers won their second straight game. Pau Gasol had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and although he didn't get a rebound in the second half, Gasol had a key block on Thaddeus Young with under a minute to play.
Tom Petty watched from courtside at Staples Center as the Laker lead, which was once 14 points in the third quarter, was Free Fallin', but the Lakers refused to Breakdown, never letting the 76ers take the lead. Jrue Holiday was magnificent for Philadelphia, telling the Lakers, "I Won't Back Down" with a team-high 19 points and 11 assists. However, given the way the Lakers played in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter, perhaps "You Got Lucky" should ring in the new year for the purple and gold.
Lamar Odom had another strong game off the bench for the Lakers, with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 31 minutes. Steve Blake, who missed his last 11 three-pointers over the previous four games, and who had made just 13 of his last 48 field goal attempts (27.1%) over his last 11 games, made one of his three attempts from beyond the arc. The Lakers host Memphis Sunday night at Staples Center.
Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom have both taken to their new old roles quite nicely, and the Los Angeles Lakers rode a strong front court to a 52-44 lead at halftime over the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center. Odom came off the bench to score 10 points and grab four rebounds in the first half. Bynum only scored two points, but helped control the middle on defense and grabbed five rebounds.
Meanwhile, Pau Gasol had nine points and eight rebounds, including five offensive boards, to give the Lakers a big edge down low. The Lakers outrebounded Philadelphia 25-17 in the first 24 minutes, and held the 76ers to 59% shooting. The Lakers shot 51.2%from the field, and had 12 assists on 21 made field goals.
The highlight of the first half was a rare dunk by Kobe Bryant, who drove to the middle and threw down a two-hand jam over Andres Nocioni with 7:04 remaining in the first quarter. That was part of a 10-0 Lakers run, which gave them an early lead which they haven't yet relinqueshed. Bryant scored nine points in the opening quarter, making four of his six field goals. Kobe led the Lakers in scoring in the first half, with 14 points.
The Los Angeles Lakers look to close out 2010 with a win tonight over the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center. Philadelphia will be without Andre Iguodala, who is out with tendinitis in his right achilles. Andres Nocioni will start in place of Iguodala, who will miss his third straight game. Here are the starting lineups tonight:
This is the second start for Bynum, who scored 18 points and grabbed six boards in his first start Wednesday in New Orleans. Lamar Odom, now the sixth man, scored 24 points in 30 minutes off the bench Wednesday night to lead the Lakers in scoring. The Lakers have beaten the 76ers four straight times overall, and are 9-2 all-time against them at Staples Center in the regular season.
The Los Angeles Lakers look to end 2010 on a high note, as they host the Philadelphia 76ers in a New Years Eve contest tonight at Staples Center. The Lakers moved Andrew Bynum into the starting lineup at center in their last game, a win in New Orleans, and look to build on their new identity going forward. Even though they lost three straight games before Wednesday's win, the Lakers have a favorable schedule coming up, such that they can make a run back to the top of the Western Conference.
The Lakers have only two games away from Staples Center in the next 18 days. But let's not look too far ahead. Tonight, they have to face the 76ers, whom they have beaten nine of their last 11 meetings in Los Angeles. Andre Iguodala, who led Philadelphia in scoring in each of the last four seasons, is second on this year's squad, averaging 14.2 points per game, behind Elton Brand's 15.1 points per contest. Iguodala has missed the last two games with tendinitis in his right achilles, and is a game-time decision tonight.
Bynum scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in his first start of the season on Wednesday, and it set a tone for the rest of the team. The Lakers were able to get easy shots all night against New Orleans, and shot 58.6% from the field. Lamar Odom slid to the bench, but still played 30 minutes and led the team with 24 points. The Laker bench scored 39 points in the game.
Kobe Bryant, who leads all players in votes for the All-Star game, to be held in Los Angeles on February 20, is inching up the NBA all-time scoring list. He is currently in 11th place with 26,593 points, and is 75 points from tying Dominique Wilkins for 10th place on the all-time list.