Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/17/12
PHILADELPHIA -- Kobe Bryant scored 34 points in his homecoming game Sunday, and the Los Angeles Lakers eased past the Philadelphia 76ers, 111-98. Bryant, who grew up in suburban Philadelphia, shot 12-for-21 from the floor in his lone visit to town this season. The NBA's scoring leader also had six assists. Metta World Peace added 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 11 boards, and point guards Chris Duhon and Darius Morris combined for 29 points as the Lakers (11-14) won their second straight. They had dropped their previous four. Morris notched a career-high 15, all in the first half, while Duhon matched his season high with 14. The Lakers made 14 of their 34 3-point attempts (41.2 percent). Nick Young had a season-high 30 points to pace Philadelphia (12-12), which lost its third straight. Both teams were short-handed. The Lakers continue to be without point guard Steve Nash (leg fracture) and forward Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees). The Sixers have been without Andrew Bynum, the center they acquired from the Lakers in a four-team trade last summer, as he's been nursing bone bruises in both knees. Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday, the team's leading scorer, missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left foot. Bryant scored 18 points and Morris added 15 in the first half as the Lakers seized a 60-50 lead. Los Angeles set a floor record by sinking 10 3-pointers in the half, on 15 attempts. World Peace, who notched 11 points in the first 24 minutes, and Morris each went 3-for-3 from the arc. Young countered with 16 first-half points, 14 of those in the second quarter. Los Angeles extended its lead to 83-66 in the third quarter. Duhon scored eight of his points in the period, including a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes. The Sixers crept back within 91-82 when Spencer Hawes nailed a 3-pointer with 8:27 left in the game, but the Lakers responded with a 14-5 run to make it 105-87. Duhon and Bryant both had 3-pointers in that flurry. Hawes and Evan Turner each scored 16 for the Sixers, and Thaddeus Young had 14. Ex-Sixer Jodie Meeks scored 12 off the Lakers' bench. NOTES: Bynum said before the game that his sore left knee, which has been bothering him more than his right, is feeling much better than it did a week ago. He will be examined by doctors Thursday, and at that point, he said, "Hopefully I'll be cleared for impact." He also said he was disappointed he did not get to face his former team but added, "I guess I'm just excited to play any game at this point." ... Sixers coach Doug Collins said Holiday is "probably going to be out for a few more days." ... Even before Gasol and Nash return, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said, "We have to have some problems solved," notably transition defense and offensive spacing. ... Los Angeles forward Jordan Hill was inactive due to a back injury.
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