NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, December 29th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (8-21) at Los Angeles Lakers (13-17), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers are better known as the walking
wounded lately and hope to stop a season-long four-game losing streak Sunday
versus the road-weary Philadelphia 76ers.
The Lakers are already without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Steve Blake, and
may not have big men Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman versus the Sixers. Gasol is
battling an upper respiratory infection and Kaman has a sprained ankle. Both
are game-time decisions.
Los Angeles is opening a four-game homestand Sunday and will also welcome
Milwaukee, Utah and Denver to Staples Center. It is 7-7 in L.A. this season
and dropped a 105-103 decision to the Jazz Friday night. Jazz forward Derrick
Favors helped the hosts to the win on a tip-in slam with 2.1 seconds
remaining. Jodie Meeks' desperate 3-point attempt was off the mark.
Nick Young led the Lakers with 21 points off the bench before fouling out with
5:45 left in the fourth quarter. Kaman had 19 points and 10 boards, while
Jordan Hill and Jordan Farmar netted 16 points apiece in the setback. Hill
scored four points in a row at one moment to make 103-103.
Favors did the rest against a Lakers team that shot 50 percent from the field
and had six players score in double-figures.
"We just didn't play good," said Kaman. "We did some decent things, but in the
second half we just couldn't get any stops."
The Lakers used their sixth different lineup in as many days (15 total). L.A.
last lost five in a row during a six-game skid from Jan. 1 - 11, 2013.
Young, meanwhile, is a former Sixer and has scored 20 or more points in five
of his last seven games. He leads the Lakers with 15.9 ppg and averaged 10.6
ppg in 59 games with Philly last season.
Philadelphia dropped to 0-2 on a six-game road trip with Saturday's 115-101
loss against the Phoenix Suns. The defeat spoiled a 30-point, 10-rebound
performance from Thaddeus Young, while rookie Michael Carter-Williams netted
27 points to go with six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Tony Wroten added 22 points off the bench for the Sixers, who shot 38.9
percent for the game and have dropped 13 straight on the road. The 76ers
haven't tasted victory outside of Philadelphia since their first away game --
a 109-102 win in Washington on Nov. 1 -- and lost 15 in a row as the guest
from Jan. 2 - March 21, 2013.
"Defensively we just have a long way to go. I don't think we made a step
forward," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "I'm greedy. I want to see an
immediate result on defense."
The Sixers, losers in 17 of 20 games overall, are the worst in opponents'
scoring at 111.8 points per game. But the Lakers are third-to-last in that
category, allowing 103.4 ppg.
Philly will also visit Denver, Sacramento and Portland on the trip and may not
have forward Evan Turner Sunday because of a sore knee. Turner hasn't played
since last Saturday in a loss at Milwaukee.
The 76ers and Lakers split a pair of meetings a season ago with each team
winning on the road. Los Angeles is 10-4 in the past 14 overall meetings
between the teams and 10-3 over the previous 13 at Staples Center.
12/29 10:17:44 ET