The Lakers tried really hard to start the 2013 with a win against the Sixers on the first day of the year, but finally couldn’t capitalize thus losing by four in a close game. It was a game that was decided and won by Philadelphia thanks to the energy and the relentless effort they showed in the last minutes of the game. Kobe Bryant, who led Los Angeles with 36 points, commented on the lack of energy from his team down the stretch saying: “We didn’t look past them. I mean, you just saw an old team. I don’t know how else to put it. We’re just slow, and they’re a team that’s younger with fresher legs and played with more energy. We were just stuck in the mud. And as individuals, we all have to figure out how to get ourselves ready each and every game to have a high-level game. That’s a big thing when you’re starting to age. It’s tough, and it takes a lot of commitment.”
Philadelphia held a 5 point lead with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter and it was then when Kobe hit a clutch three pointer to spark his team and get the momentum towards LA’s side. But Spencer Haws made a huge 21-footer to put his team up by four. Steve Nash and Metta World Piece missed on consecutive three pointer and the Lakers couldn’t come through to win this one. Jrue Holiday put the icing on the cake with an easy dunk after catching the whole Lakers’ defense on sleep, with just 24” to go.
Jrue Holiday reached an impressive performance going 10-19 from the field to finish with 26 points and also 10 assists. In some points of the game he made Steve Nash, who was guarding him, look like helpless. Evan Turner also added a double double, 22 points and 13 rebounds that helped his team start off the year with a victory. “He’s playing with tremendous confidence. He’s a well-conditioned athlete and you have to be to play at the level he plays every night.” said Sixers Coach Doug Collins.
With this loss, the Lakers fell again under the psychological border of 0.500 with a 15-16 record. It’s been their worst start of the season since 2002-2003 when they went 12-19, the year after they had won the title. They shot a season low 13.6 from three point range, just 3-22. LA just couldn’t utilize its strength down low, with Howard finishing with just 7 points and Gasol going 2-12 from the field to end up with 12.
The Lakers have a huge rivalry game ahead, Friday night against the LA Clippers. They then play the last game of this first week of the yearagainst the Denver Nuggets, Sunday night at the Staples Center. The Sixers will continue their road trip and head to Phoenix to face the Suns on Wednesday.