Lakers vs. Philadelphia: Lakers hold off 76ers' rally to win
The Lakers won but the scrappy Philadelphia 76ers made them earn it Friday night, erasing what had been a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter before Kobe Bryant helped the Lakers edge ahead for the victory.
After trailing throughout, the 76ers tied the score, 98-98, with 90 seconds to play, but Bryant responded by scoring on a fall-away jumper and then made two free throws after being fouled to seal the win.
Bryant scored 10 of his team-high 33 points in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol had 20 points in the game and Lamar Odom scored 18. Center Andrew Bynum had a game-high 15 rebounds.
Jrue Holiday of Chatsworth and UCLA led Philadelphia's scoring with 19 points and had 11 assists, while Louis Williams came off the bench and scored 18.
The Lakers (23-10) were 42 for 82 from the field (51%) while the 76ers were 39 for 83 (47%).
Lakers 82, 76ers 73 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers aren't quite cruising but they've yet to feel threatened by the 76ers through three quarters.
Four Lakers had scored in double digits, led by Kobe Bryant with 23 points andPau Gasol with 20. Center Andrew Bynum added six points and had a team-leading 13 rebounds.
In seeking their second consecutive win after a three-game losing skid, the Lakers at times looked confident and efficient against the young Philadelphia team.
In one sequence, Bryant slammed home a dunk shot, Ron Artest hit a three-pointer, Gasol dropped in consecutive hook shots and Bryant hit a three-pointer.
Forward Andres Nocioni of Argentina tried to keep the 76ers close, having scored 13 points with one quarter remaining in the game.
Lakers 52, 76ers 44 (end of second quarter)
The Lakers kept the lead entering halftime Friday night but a hustling Philadelphia team refused to roll over, narrowing what had been a double-digit deficit earlier in the game.
Kobe Bryant had 14 points in the first half to lead the Lakers' scoring, followed by Lamar Odom with 10 and Pau Gasol with nine.
Philadelphia guard and UCLA product Jrue Holiday was having a strong night in front of his hometown fans, scoring 13 points to lead the 76ers. Rookie Evan Turner,whom Lakers Coach Phil Jackson had warned might be a dangerous weapon for the 76ers, added nine points.
The Lakers shot 51% from the field (21 for 41) in the half compared with 43% (18 for 42) for the 76ers, and the Lakers outrebounded Philadelphia, 25-17.
Lakers 29, 76ers 19 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers jumped out to a comfortable lead over the 76ers, led by Kobe Bryant's nine points.
Lamar Odom, coming off the bench, added six points and Ron Artest had five.
The Lakers overall shot 52% from the floor compared with Philadelphia's 38%.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum, making his second consecutive start after returning Dec. 14 from knee surgery, had four rebounds.
Jrue Holiday,a Chatsworth native who played at UCLA, led Philadelphia's scoring with seven points.
Pregame: Jackson sees unknowns with 76ers' young roster
The Lakers are hosting the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center on New Year's Eve, a game that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said poses a challenge for the Lakers despite the 76ers' 13-19 record.
The unknown depth of young talent on the Philadelphia roster is an issue now that Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala is again sidelined because of recurring tendinitis in his right Achilles' tendon, Jackson said in pregame remarks. The 76ers' leading scorer is veteran Elton Brand, formerly of the Clippers, who's averaging 15.1 points per game.
"They'll have a lot of young players out there that we don't know," Jackson said. "That always concerns me." There's the threat of "maybe Evan Turner or somebody that is looking to make a name for himself or have a big game," he said.
Turner scored a career-high 23 points Wednesday in the 76ers' 123-110 victory over the Suns in Phoenix.
This is the second meeting of the season between the Lakers and 76ers. The Lakers won, 93-81, on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia thanks to a fourth-quarter scoring surge led by Lamar Odom, who finished with 28 points.
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant applies the defensive pressure against Philadelphia guard Louis Williams in the first half Friday night at Staples Center. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times