The Sixers take on the Lakers for the first time since February 6th last season in which they came away with a 95-90 victory in front of a raucous crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Current Sixers center, then-Lakers center, Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 20 rebounds in that game. The Sixers have not scored more than 100 points in any of their last six matchups against the Lakers while Los Angeles has topped the 100 point mark just once in their last six meetings. After the loss on Friday, the Sixers are just 1-11 when trailing after three quarters but a dominating 11-0 when leading after three quarters. A loss tonight would give the Sixers their fourth three-game losing streak. The Sixers have improved their shooting from the field as they are shooting 47.2% from the field and are 8-2 this year when shooting 45% or better from the field. Starting point guard Jrue Holiday is still a game-time decision with a left foot sprain. If he is out, the Sixers will go with the same lineup as Friday with Evan Turner handling the point guard responsibilities.
Who to Watch: Spencer Hawes. Hawes has been phenomenal of late off the bench. He has scored 10+ points in each of the last three games and four of the last five games. He poured in 18 points against the Pacers on Friday. He is averaging 14.3 points and seven rebounds over the last three games. On the season the 7’1” center is averaging 8.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The Lakers are coming off of a 102-96 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points and seven assists. Bryant leads the NBA in scoring averaging 29.3 points per game while grabbing 5.3 rebounds and dishing out 4.9 assists. The Lakers offense goes through Bryant. Despite having the NBA’s leading scorer and widely considered the NBA’s best center, Dwight Howard, the Lakers have stumbled early on. They are just 10-14 and have already fired a head coach and have not exactly turned a corner under current coach Mike D’Antoni. The Lakers are looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since November 18th-20th.
Who to Watch: Dwight Howard. Howard came to the Lakers in the blockbuster deal that brought Andrew Bynum to the 76ers. Howard has been productive for the Lakers averaging 18.0 points and ranking fourth in the NBA averaging 12.0 rebounds per game. He is fifth in the league in field goal percentage at 58.1% and fourth in blocks per game with 2.58. He is coming off of a 12 point, 14 rebound effort against the Wizards. Howard has scored 11+ points in all eight games in December and grabbed 12+ rebounds in six of the eight December contests.
Tipoff is slated for 6:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are still available. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
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