Lakers 112, 76ers 98
The Sports Xchange
Lakers 112, 76ers 98
Steve Nash celebrated his 40th birthday by scoring 19 points on Friday night as the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 112-98 for their second straight victory.
Center Chris Kaman and guard-forward Wesley Johnson added 17 points for Los Angeles (18-32), which before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night had dropped seven in a row.
Forward Ryan Kelly scored 15 points and guard Steve Blake and forward Jordan Hill had 14 each.
Nash, the NBA's oldest player, made 8 of 15 shots from the floor and had five assists. It was just his eighth game of the season and his second since Nov. 10 after being slowed by back and hamstring issues.
The Lakers were without six other players because of injury, notably All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who has been out since Dec. 17 with a fractured left knee.
Center Spencer Hawes and forward Thaddeus Young had 15 points each to pace the Sixers (15-36), who have lost five straight. They have also dropped their last six at home.
The Lakers, who took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by backup guard Kendall Marshall with 3:52 left in the third quarter, put the game away by outscoring the Sixers 25-13 in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles' reserve big men, Kaman and Hill, did most of the damage for the Lakers in the quarter, scoring eight points apiece.
The Sixers made 4 of 19 shots from the field in the quarter and committed five of their 22 turnovers.
The Sixers went on a 10-2 run early in the game -- a flurry featuring 3-pointers by guard-forward James Anderson and Young -- to open a 19-11 lead. By quarter's end, they stretched their advantage to 35-26.
Philadelphia was still leading by nine at 64-55 with a minute left in the half before Blake made two 3-pointers to cut the gap to 64-61 at the end of the quarter.
Kelly led Los Angeles with 11 points at the half. Nash and Johnson had 10 each.
Hawes scored 11 in the opening half for Philadelphia. Center-forward Lavoy Allen chipped in 10 off the bench.
Blake added another 3-pointer as the Lakers reeled off seven of the first 10 points in the third quarter to go ahead 68-67, their first lead since it was 2-0.
Later in the quarter, Marshall scored five points and Nash four in a 11-3 spree, pushing the Los Angeles advantage to 83-76.
With the Lakers leading 87-82 in the closing seconds of the quarter, Sixers guard Tony Wroten rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Lakers forward Shawne Williams and from his own foul line heaved in a 3-pointer, a 62-footer that cut the gap to 87-85.
It was the second straight game in which Wroten made a shot from beyond midcourt. He had also done so at the end of the third quarter in Wednesday's loss to Boston.
NOTES: Besides G Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were without G Jordan Farmar (calf strain), G Jodie Meeks (sprained right ankle), G Nick Young (left knee fracture/bone bruise), F Pau Gasol (strained right groin) and G-F Xavier Henry (right knee bone bruise). ... Earlier in the day, Los Angeles called up F Shawne Williams from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the Development League. ... Sixers coach Brett Brown said Lakers G Steve Nash is "one of (his) personal all-time favorites" and added that when he talked to rookie G Michael Carter-Williams about the veteran, he told him the following: "I don't care if he's 60; he's Steve Nash." Brown also said that when he was an assistant in San Antonio, "We sort of likened him to (Wayne) Gretzky, where he would get behind the goal and Steve would probe the baseline, just baiting people to get sucked in and then he would pick you apart with his 3-point shooters." ... Retired 76ers C Darryl Dawkins, known as "Chocolate Thunder" in his playing days, attended the game.