Dec 31, 2010

Lakers hold-on, avoid late Sixers surge

Bryant jumper in the final minute put the game away
Kobe Bryant hit the deciding jumper with 1:15 remaining and sank two free throws in the final seconds, as the Los Angeles Lakers edged the Philadelphia 76ers, 102-98, at Staples Center.

Bryant finished with a game-high 33 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol added 20 points and Andrew Bynum grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds to go with eight points for the Lakers, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game skid.

Lamar Odom added 18 points and seven rebounds in a reserve role for LA.

Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia with 19 points and 11 assists. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively, off the bench for the Sixers, who are 3-4 on an eight-game road trip.

"I am proud of our guys," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "We hung in there and battled. Twenty-six assists ... we moved the ball. [Gasol and Bynum] are just so big, that's a load in there."
The Lakers were up nine, 82-73, entering the fourth quarter, and Odom made a short layup with 10:55 left for a double-digit lead. However, Elton Brand hit a turnaround jumper 40 seconds later to start a 12-2 Sixers run.

Williams sank a three, and after Holiday made one of two from the line, LA's Steve Blake drained a short jumper.

Holiday finished with 19 points and 11 assists
ree, 98-95, with a Bryant fadeaway jumper with 2:24 remaining. Young's driving layup on a 3-on-2 breakaway resulted in a three- point play that tied the game, the first time the teams were knotted since early in the first quarter.

Bryant hit the deciding basket on the next possession, sinking a 12-foot fadeaway to put the Lakers up 100-98.

Williams missed a potential go-ahead jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining, and on the rebound, Young and LA's Matt Barnes went up for the possession. The ball bounced off both hands, and after a video review, possession was given to the Lakers, essentially ending the game.

Bryant's two from the line with 1.9 seconds remaining accounted for the final margin.

The Lakers had a 29-19 lead after the first, as the Sixers shot 38 percent from the field. But Philadelphia responded in the second, cutting the Lakers' advantage to 52-44 at the half.

Gasol led LA with 11 points in a back-and-forth third quarter.

Game Notes

The Lakers have won four straight in this series and seven of eight overall...The Lakers committed 15 turnovers...LA scored 50 of its points in the paint...The Sixers shot 45 percent from beyond the arc, compared to 28.6 percent for LA...The Sixers will end their eight-game road trip in New Orleans on January 3...Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in its last four games.

Copyright: The Sports Network

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