(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers can salvage a split of a four-game
road trip Sunday night with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Lakers needed a win on Friday at Washington to have any chance at a .500
excursion. They fell to the Cavaliers on Tuesday and the Knicks on Thursday,
but a 102-96 victory over the Wizards stopped the bleeding a bit.
Los Angeles has dropped six of its last eight as the search for an identity
under new head coach Mike D'Antoni continues. Pau Gasol will be out again with
knee tendinitis and Steve Nash may return to practice next week as he recovers
from a leg injury suffered in the first game of the season.
The win against the team with the worst record was welcomed. Kobe Bryant went
for 30 points on Friday and became the third player in NBA history over the
age of 34 to have five straight games over 30 points, joining Michael Jordan
and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Bryant games in Philadelphia are always something else. He attended Lower
Merion High School in a Philly suburb and has averaged 22.8 ppg in 29 games
against his hometown team.
"It's always special. I've always enjoyed it. It's always been fun," Bryant
said of playing in Philly. "Now, it becomes a little bit more significant.
It's coming to an end."
The Lakers thought this would be their first chance to meet former All-Star
center Andrew Bynum, but that won't happen. Bynum, who was acquired from Los
Angeles in the offseason, hasn't played a game yet for the Sixers with two bad
In addition to Bynum's season-long absence thus far, the Sixers played Friday
night without presumptive All-Star Jrue Holiday, who missed the game with a
left foot sprain. Holiday is a game-time decision and if he can't go, Nick
Young is expected to start in his place.
The Sixers have lost two straight and three of four. They fell to the Indiana
Pacers on Friday night, 95-85, but the Sixers competed and it was a one-
possession game down the stretch.
Philadelphia didn't defend the 3-point line very well. Indiana shot 57.1
percent from beyond the arc and the eighth 3-pointer the Pacers made was a
huge difference maker.
Evan Turner led the Sixers with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Spencer Hawes chipped in 18 off the bench and Thaddeus Young contributed 12
"We played our butts off and tried to make the right plays," said Turner. "It
just wasn't enough. They played real good and we couldn't keep up."
The Lakers are 7-2 in their last nine against the Sixers, although Philly won
the only matchup last season. Los Angeles is 4-8 in its last 12 in the City of
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