LOS ANGELES The Sixers had plenty of motivation going into Tuesdays game against the Lakers. Los Angeles beat the Sixers by 13 on Dec. 16 and the Sixers had lost three of four on this current eight-game road trip.
With 8:47 to play the Sixers led by 10. The Lakers closed to within two points in the final minute before the Sixers prevailed, 103-99, to improve to 15-17.
It was a nice homecoming for two of the three Los Angeles natives on the Sixers' roster. Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his team-high 26 points in the first quarter and Dorell Wright came off the bench to score 10 points and grab seven rebounds.
Former USC star Nick Young played just 14 minutes, going 0 for 3 from the floor and finishing with one point.
The Sixers had a four-point lead when Evan Turner hit a corner three at the 4:44 mark of the third quarter to put the Sixers up 72-65.
With a little more than five minutes to play in the game, the Lakers had closed to within four and Turner hit a three from the other side of the floor.
In both cases when a big shot was needed, Turner wanted to take it and was confident he would make it.
The Sixers were 8 for 21 from beyond the arc, while the the Lakers were 3 for 22.
Follow the leader
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 36. Turner returned to his early-season form, recording his eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
Spencer Hawes hit a couple big shots in the fourth quarter and finished with 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.
The Sixers were a perfect 11-11 at the foul line until the first minute of the fourth quarter, when Turner went 1 for 2. The Sixers proceeded to miss six more free throws in the fourth quarter. They finished 13 for 20 at the line, while the Lakers were 22 for 33.
Take a bow
Bryant is leading the league in scoring at 30.1 points per game. Two times before in his career he has finished the season the leagues leading scorer and 13 of his 17 years he has finished in the top-six in scoring.
Bryant is third among active players with 25.5 points per game for his career behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but he has sustained his scoring over far more games played. Bryant has played 473 more games then LeBron and 781 more then Durant.
If Bryant finishes the season leading the league in scoring he will be the second oldest to do so. Michael Jordan was 35 when he led the NBA in scoring during the 1997-98 season. Kobe will not turn 35 until August.
The Sixers play Wednesday night at Phoenix, which they beat, 104-101, at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 25. Holiday was spectacular that night, scoring 33 points and handing out 13 assists. The Suns have lost six straight games and at 11-21 are sitting in last place in the Pacific Division. They do have a winning record at home (9-7).
Goran Dragic leads the Suns in scoring with 14.3 points per game but Phoenix has six players who average double-figures. Defensively, they give up 101 points per game.