It was a fun and loud crowd tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. Many Cowboys fans DVR'd the second half of the Dallas/Steelers game, and stopped by the Wells Fargo Center to root on their Lakers. (Their dad grew up a Lakers fan, you see).
The first quarter was a back and forth affair. As expected with a Mike D'Antoni-led team, the Lakers continually pushed the tempo. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young provided much off the offense early on, but each baby run was thwarted by an obnoxious LA triple from the corner. Evan Turner, in particular, looked good in the opening frame. He finished at the rim and knocked down a couple of mid-range jumpers. The Sixers' point guard by committee (Turner and Dorell Wright) added 11 assists and just two turnovers in the first half.
The Sixers got some unlikely contributions early on. Kwam Kwam, starting for Lavoy Allen, did his best Mark Eaton impression, and sent a Dwight Howard jump hook into the first row. He almost made a lay-up, too, and would have, if it wasn't for those pesky
kids rims. (Kwame, to his credit, did a nice job defending Howard in the first half. Dwight seemed to have more success when Lavoy Allen was defending him in the post). Even Damien Wilkins (I know!) made a gorgeous move on the baseline and flushed it with some impressive oomph.
The Sixers, despite shooting well in the first, trailed by four, as the Lakers buried six wide, wide, wide open triples in the opening frame.
The second quarter was more of the same. LA continued their steady barrage of threes. Metta World Peace and Darius Morris enjoyed clean look after clean look. (Morris, in fact, had a career night, scoring 15 points, although it felt more like 51). Former Sixer, Jodie Meeks - another man who enjoys uncontested jumpers - joined in on the act (two 3's), as the Lakers pushed their lead to double-digits. Kobe Bryant quietly slipped 18 first half points past me, because I was too busy Googling, "Does anyone else loathe Darius Morris?" As a team, LA shot 10-15 from beyond the arc in the first half, and a very promiscuous 14-34 for the game.
Nick Young (16 points in the first half) kept the Sixers within striking distance, however. Young hit 4 threes in the first half, and each triple was more Swagiously Delicious than the last. The Sixers set-up camp right at the Mixville border, and entered the locker room trailing 60-50.
The Lakers stretched their cushion to 15 points early in the third quarter. Kobe Bryant hit a series of very difficult and contested shots, something he has been doing since like the Ford Administration. Dwight Howard also found some breathing room in the second half (17 points and 11 rebounds; 7-13 FG), and Chris Duhon joined the three parade (4 three pointers). The Lakers didn't just stop in the Turnersville gift shop. They invaded that fine town and implemented Martial Law.
In the early stages of the fourth, Spencer "Smooth"
Perkins Hawes cut the Sixers lead to single digits with a couple of 3's of his own. But the Sixers would get no closer. Despite a game effort by Nick Young (30 points; 12-23 from the floor. 6 triples), the Lakers coasted in the 4th quarter for their 11th victory of the season.
When your two best offensive players are in street clothes, you can't expect to give up 111 points and compete. And offensively, and I know this has been harped upon here on LB, but the Sixers front-court (Thad, Hawes, Kwame, and Lavoy) shot a combined one foul shot. One. That's not nearly good enough.
Tonight's loss slides the Sixers back to .500.
Hello, old friend.