Happy New Year, everybody. We are in a new calendar year. The Lakers would sure like to forget 2012 and start off fresh in 2013. And, of course, Laker fans’ New Year’s resolutions include… a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on the first day of the year.
The Lakers went into this game having won six of their last seven games. In their last game, they beat Portland rather easily. Did they have another easy game in their hands? Did they have to grind for a victory? Did they win?! Let’s check out the recap.
Jrue Holliday is damn good
— Michael Necci (@Michael_Necci) January 2, 2013
Pau Gasol three-pointers are no longer cute.
— Marcel Mutoni (@marcel_mutoni) January 2, 2013
LOL were getting SMACKED
— Senator Mugen (@FastTimesAtRF) January 2, 2013
As you can see from the tweets, the Lakers did not get off to a good start. The Sixers made their first five shots and got off to a quick 16-5 start.
L.A. then went to the energy guys and it paid immediate dividends. Jordan Hill scored a quick six points. However, the Lakers blew some golden opportunities when the basketball went off the hands of both Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant (the ghost of Kwame Brown had come to haunt them). Nevertheless, the Lakers cut the lead down to 20-15 after a Bryant lay-up.
Both teams traded baskets before Kobe showed off with a little air reverse to end the quarter.
The Sixers led, 28-25, but the Lakers ended the stanza with an encouraging note. Kobe Bryant had 10 points after one while Jordan Hill had eight points and six rebounds.
Darius Morris got tackled early on a breakaway play. While the play may be a little questionable, Laker fans had no doubt about what happened.
Unnecessary foul!!!!! That was so freaking dirty!!!!! Flagrant foul fosho
— LAKER GIRL (@LakersJo) January 2, 2013
A reverse Jodie Meeks dunk started a 9-0 run for the Lakers. That quickly erased a five-point deficit. But overall, it was a pretty up and down quarter for the Lakers. The Sixers had a 9-2 run to end the half.
Kobe Bryant did score 17 points for the Lakers but Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard combined for a 1-11 shooting nightmare (and it was off a breakaway that Gasol had to gather himself before dunking). The Sixers led the Lakers, 54-50.
After a quick Steve Nash lay-in, the Lakers struggled in making shots. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner continued to cook the Lakers on offense. Watching the Lakers bigs was painful.
Looks like Kobe going have to drop 35 tonight if Lakers going win smh
— Mike Perez (@MikePerez24) January 2, 2013
The Lakers just weren’t making shots while the Sixers were. Halfway through the third, the Lakers had only made 1-13 behind the arc. Dwight would finally get a slam in but, as we can all tell, Howard still didn’t have his usual lift on the dunk.
Conversely, the Sixers were making their three-pointers. An Evan Turner three put the 76ers up, 72-65. Holiday and Turner continued to give the Lakers fits. There was one play in particular where Holiday went in circles inside the key and then put up a left-handed scoop lay-up that bewildered Pau Gasol.
With only Kobe seemingly providing the offense, the Lakers trailed the Sixers by nine, 81-72.
The Sixers are admittedly not a very fun team to watch even with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. But the Lakers made it even more unwatchable because they just couldn’t put the ball into the hoop. Eric Pincus from the L.A. Times offered this assessment:
Lakers have no real sense of how to score tonight – at least not comfortably
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) January 2, 2013
The Lakers’ offense devolved into a lot of one-on-one play. The Sixers continued to make shots, even tough ones.
L.A. finally woke up with another excellent Kobe reverse lay-up. They were able to cut the lead down to four twice: once after a Kobe banker and when a Metta World Peace three-pointer (that’s right!) went into the hoop. Still, the Lakers couldn’t stop Jrue Holiday’s penetration which resulted in a Spencer Hawes jumper. A Jason Richardson lay-up extended the lead to nine.
The Lakers went back to terrible one-on-one play, with Kobe shooting in three straight possessions (with only one shot going in, unassisted). They had opportunities when the Sixers missed foul shots. Kobe made a three to cut the lead down to two but another Hawes jumper put the lead back to four. Kobe turned the ball over and it led to a Jrue Holiday dunk to seal the game.
The Sixers beat the Lakers, 103-99. The Lakers went 3-22 behind the arc and missed 11 foul shots overall. And they lost by four points. Go figure.
Lakers are under .500 once again at 15-16.
POINTS: Kobe Bryant, 36.
REBOUNDS: Dwight Howard, 14.
ASSISTS: Steve Nash, 10.
STEALS: Darius Morris, 2.
BLOCKS: Dwight Howard, 5.