Lakers vs Sixers: The Tuesday night showdown was all about Kobe Bryant’s final appearance in his hometown of Philadelphia. Prior to the game, Kobe was honored by the 76ers organization, with the iconic “Dr J” Julius Irving paying tribute to the retiring Los Angeles Lakers legend.
After the pre-game festivities, Bryant dropped 13 points in the first quarter alone as it started to feel like a Lakers home game. Soon after, Bryant returned to his regular season form, finishing with a deplorable 7/26 FG shooting, 4/17 from deep, as Sixers defeated the Lakers 103-91.
With the win, the 1-18 Sixers ended the longest-losing streak in major U.S. professional sports. They snapped a 28-game losing streak that started last season.
Bryant finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in his farewell game at the Wells Fargo Center. The Philly crowd gave him a standing ovation as Bryant walked off into the sunset amid thunderous “Kobe..Kobe” chants. “When I was in high school, I hoped to be a Sixer,” Bryant said ahead of Tuesday’s loss. “I was always hoping that. But at the time, [Allen] Iverson was such a, such a force … but it was always a dream of mine to play in Philadelphia.”
Robert Covington led all scorers with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Forward Jerami Grant added 14 points, 7 rebounds and an impressive tally of 4 blocks. Nerlens Noel added 14 points off the bench.
In an interesting rookie match-up, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell finished with identical stats: 12 points apiece. However, Russell played 37 minutes as compared to Okafor’s 30.
For the Lakers, Jordan Clarkson was once again the most efficient scorer, finishing with 19 points off 9/19 shooting. Lou Williams returned after missing two games, finishing with 9 points from 21 minutes off the bench. Metta World Peace was the only Laker with a positive plus/minus, with 5 points and 5 rebounds in 19 minutes.