Lakers 93, Sixers 81: Dec. 17 Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Friday evening road game at Philadelphia, the fifth of a six-game trek through the Midwest and East Coast, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Odom and Gasol
Sixers: J. Holiday, J. Meeks, A. Iguodala, E. Brand, S. Hawes

FIRST QUARTER
5:51 It was a cold, snowy day in Philadelphia, and the two teams apparently felt the weather on the floor as they combined to miss their first nine combined shots. But while the Lakers got going, scoring eight straight points, the Sixers had yet to score a single point in the first 5:09 of action, prompting Coach Doug Collins’s first time out. L.A. was exposing a matchup advantage with Ron Artest being guarded by Jodie Meeks, since Meeks was too small to guard Kobe (Iggy took him).

2:33 The 76ers put Andre Nocioni in the game, and that matchup and energy change quickly led to a 15-6 run for Philly, leading to Phil Jackson’s time out. Philly has been playing quite well of late, winning three straight and 7-of-10, showing L.A. a lil’ something after the slow start.

0:00 Six turnovers and 33 percent shooting didn’t help the Lakers much in the latter half of the quarter, and a 21-18 deficit was the result. No player had more than four points, as the Killer B’s plus Odom and Andrew Bynum took the floor to start the second.

SECOND QUARTER
7:17 Remember how the Sixers couldn’t score at the start of the game? It happened again, this time thanks in part to Bynum’s presence in the paint, while the Lakers reeled off a 9-0 run capped by Odom’s baseline bucket. The Lakers’ second unit was simply much better than Philly’s, as should be the case on nearly every NBA night. Philly finally scored on a put-back after Bynum forced a miss, but Odom answered with two free throws.

2:04 The whistles weren’t coming for action in the paint, and Gasol didn’t like it after taking a shove. During a time out, he approached the ref, but Phil Jackson intercepted him and instructed him to go to the bench. Generally, Jackson likes Gasol to push back when he takes a hit, and generally, Gasol responds to whatever criticism or instruction he receives. Sure enough, he came out of the time out to score seven straight points, including a difficult and-1 despite a hard foul. That’s why he’s an All Star, and Jackson a Hall of Famer.

0:00 The Lakers went on their third big run of the game, this time at 9-0, to take a 44-39 lead into the half. Gasol and Odom combined for more than half of those points (24 total) while Bryant took only five shots, making two. L.A. held Philly to 37 percent from the field towards those 39 points.

THIRD QUARTER
5:57 While the Sixers got the best of the first half of the third, Bryant’s leaning jumper in the lane tied the score at 53, Philly having made up six points thanks in large part to Spencer Hawes, who had reached a game-high 16 points, and blocked Gasol twice under the rim. In came Bynum for his second stint, seeing if he could solidify L.A.’s paint as he had in the second quarter.

3:00 Perhaps due to a sore pinky that got cracked in the first half, Bryant hadn’t looked for his own shot at all, taking only 10 to that point and making three for nine points.

1:00 A super loud, impromptu “MVP!” chant broke out around Wells Fargo Center, but it wasn’t for Philly native Kobe Bryant. Nope, Eagles QB Michael Vick strolled in, and the crowd went absolutely nuts. As in, standing ovation, throwing adoration around. The Sixers used the energy boost to close the quarter on a 7-2 run, opening a 62-58 lead at the quarter break.

FOURTH QUARTER
8:18 We probably haven’t given Matt Barnes enough credit for his consistently good play this season. He kept it right up in Philly, grabbing his eighth rebound in 19 minutes after hitting two free throws, and then sprinting to the other end to nail a corner three. That got him to 10 points, and gave the Lakers a 71-64 lead. Moments later, he’d give L.A. their biggest lead at nine by finishing a pretty cut to the hoop thanks to Odom’s pass.

5:03 It was quickly becoming the Barnes and Odom show for L.A., the collective energy on the wings propelling L.A. a 29-10 edge to open the fourth. Odom shot up to a season-high 26 points, with nine in the period, while Barnes was everywhere in scoring nine himself (15 total) plus grabbing five boards (nine total) in nearly putting the game away, the score at 87-72.

0:00 That would be all, the Lakers turning on the jets in a big way in the fourth by outscoring Philly 35-19 when it counted to win 93-81. That’s four straight road wins, improving the team to 20-7. Up next is the final game of the trip, in Toronto, before the team mercifully returns to Los Angeles. Until then, your numbers:

POSTGAME NUMBERS
28 Season-high in points scored by Lamar Odom, who was terrific throughout the contest. Odom added eight boards and three assists, continuing to play the really good hoop he’d been offering all season.

18 Total points scored by Odom and Matt Barnes … in the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter … to put the game away for the Lakers.

9 Points totaled by Kobe Bryant, who appeared to have hurt his pinky in the first half trying to catch a Pau Gasol pass. He took 11 shots for the game, instead setting teammates up while drawing Philly’s attention, which Odom in particular took advantage of.

3 Three-pointers made by the Lakers in the fourth quarter after missing all 12 attempts in the first three periods.

2 Lakers double-doubles, from Barnes and Gasol, the Spaniard going for 19 and 13 plus two blocks and three assists.