Lakers at 76ers
A four-game losing streak has ended and the Los Angeles Lakers seek a split of a four-game trip when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. Los Angeles received 30 points and seven assists from Kobe Bryant while downing the Washington Wizards on Friday for only its third road win in 11 opportunities. Philadelphia has lost two straight games and five of its last seven. Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday (foot) could return to the lineup.
The 76ers lost 95-85 to the Indiana Pacers on Friday and have failed to reach 90 points in any of their last five losses. Evan Turner moved to the point and added to his recent run of strong performances with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. The double-double was Turner’s third in five games. Bryant is averaging 34.4 points over the last five games but was just 9-of-29 shooting against the Wizards.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Los Angeles), Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
ABOUT THE LAKERS (10-14): Bryant leads the NBA with a 29.3 average and has reached 30 points in five consecutive games. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1981-82) and Michael Jordan (1997-98) as the only players to score 30 or more points in five straight games after turning 34 years old. Guard Jodie Meeks was a good complement to Bryant against the Wizards with a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Meeks was a part-time starter for Philadelphia over the past two seasons.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (12-11): The durable Holiday is a game-time decision due to suffering a sprained arch in his left foot during Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. He last missed games due to injury early in the 2009-10 season and will test the foot prior to Saturday’s contest. “We’re going to err on the side of caution,” Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. “I don’t want him out there playing on one foot.” The timing of the injury was unfortunate as Holiday averaged 25.5 points over his last two games. The fourth-year pro is averaging 18.4 points and 8.9 assists, both rating as career-high outputs.
1. Philadelphia won last season’s lone meeting but hasn’t posted back-to-back victories against Los Angeles since 2005.
2. Lakers F Pau Gasol (tendinitis in both knees) is expected to miss his eighth straight contest.
3. Sixers F Thaddeus Young has five 20-point outings in the last 11 games after failing to reach 20 in any of Philadelphia’s first 12 outings.
PREDICTION: 76ers 93, Lakers 91.