Lakers off to worst start in 10 years

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 02, 2013
Jrue Holiday had 26 points and 10 assists, Evan Turner added 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers rang in the new year with a 103-99 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The Lakers (15-16) have matched their worst start after 31 games since the 2002-03 season, when they began defense of their third straight NBA title with a 12-19 record. Kobe Bryant, who shifted from shooting guard to small forward five games ago in coach Mike D'Antoni's redesigned rotation, led the Lakers with 36 points. Steve Nash added 12 points and 10 assists. The Lakers, who tied a franchise record with 10 3-pointers in the first half of their 111-98 win at Philadelphia on Dec. 16, were 1 for 11 from 3-point range before intermission in the rematch and finished 3 for 22 from behind the arc. Pau Gasol had 11 points and nine rebounds, but shot only 2 for 12 while playing on a sore right foot. Dwight Howard missed his first five shots and finished 1 for 7 with seven points and 14 boards. The six-time All-Star's only field goal came with 6:15 left in the third quarter, a put-back dunk that reduced Philadelphia's lead to 67-63. Down by nine with just under 3 minutes to play, the Lakers closed to 99-97 on Bryant's 3-pointer with 1:28 left. But Spencer Hawes responded with a 21-footer 16 seconds later and Holiday helped close it out on a driving dunk with 22.4 seconds on the clock. Philadelphia extended a 54-50 halftime lead to eight points after three quarters. Los Angeles trailed 89-79 after Holiday's jumper with 6:54 left in the game. The Lakers cut it to 94-90 on Metta World Peace's jumper a few minutes later. The Sixers responded by scoring the next five points, including Jason Richardson's layup with 2:57 left that made it 99-90. Los Angeles missed 10 of its first 12 shots while Philadelphia opened the game with a 16-5 run. Bryant scored 17 points in the half on 8 for 13 shooting - but his teammates were a combined 35 percent from the field before the break. Bryant, who turns 35 years old in August, is averaging 33.9 points over his last 15 games and a league-best 30.3 for the season as he goes for his third NBA scoring title and first since 06-07. Notes: Nash needs 28 assists to join John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson as the only players in NBA history with at least 10,000. ... The 76ers are 14-0 when leading after three quarters, compared to 1-16 when trailing going into the fourth. ... After wrapping up this eight-game road trip against Phoenix, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, the 76ers will play 13 of their next 15 at home. ... Lakers reserve F Antawn Jamison was benched for the sixth straight game. The 15-year veteran, a two-time All-Star and former sixth man of the year (2003-04), hasn't played since Dec. 16, when he went scoreless in 13 minutes against the 76ers. ... Sixers center Andrew Bynum, who spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Lakers before they dealt him to Philadelphia on August 10 in a four-team trade that brought Howard and Chris Duhon from Orlando to L.A., has yet to play this season because of bone bruises in both knees and didn't travel with the team.
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