NBA Basketball Odds: Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers
Monday, February 06, 2012
The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of a grueling stretch looking to prove that their early season success is not a fluke. The 76ers will receive what figures to be another stern test when Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers arrive in Philly for a Monday matchup.
Philadelphia bounced back from a 20-point drubbing at home by the Miami Heat with a 98-87 victory in Atlanta on Saturday. It was the fifth win in six games for the 76ers, who beat Chicago and Orlando last week and face matchups against San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers in the upcoming week.
The Lakers are 1-1 on their season-high, six-game road trip and absorbed a 96-87 loss in Utah on Saturday night that dropped them to 3-8 away from home. Los Angeles coach Mike Brown picked up a pair of technicals and could be facing disciplinary action after bumping into referee Zach Zarba.
Los Angeles Lakers (14-10): Pau Gasol had reached only 20 points twice – with a high of 22 – in the first 15 games of the season, but has scored at least 23 points in five of his last nine games. That included a 24-point, 16-rebound performance against the Jazz. Gasol has grabbed 33 rebounds in his last two and is averaging a double-double (16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds) for the season. Center Andrew Bynum is averaging 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in his last three.
Philadelphia 76ers (17-7): The league's most balanced scoring team received a boost over the weekend with the return of big men Spencer Hawes and rookie Nikola Vucevic from injury. Starting center Hawes came back from a 10-game absence to score 14 points while Vucevic, in his second game back after sitting out the previous six, scored a career-high 15 against Atlanta. The duo combined to hit 14 of 21 shots to ease the loss of Elton Brand, who sprained his thumb in Friday’s game.
1. The Lakers have beaten the 76ers four straight overall and seven of the last eight. They've also won their last four visits to Philly.
2. Philadelphia has not allowed an opponent to score more than 87 points in its last five wins, holding three opponents to less than 74 points.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: 76ers 92, Lakers 90
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