PHILADELPHIA – Futility came to a temporary halt for the Philadelphia 76ers last night courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers.
What began as an emotional Kobe Bryant hometown bon voyage ended in Philadelphia’s first victory of the season. The Sixers won, 103–91, mercifully snapping the NBA-record skid at 28 and preventing another awful piece of history: the never-before-seen 0–19 start.
Philadelphia trailed by eight at halftime before a strong third-quarter performance resulted in a lead it would never relinquish.
The Sixers were paced by Robert Covington, whose 23 points were a game-high. Jahlil Okafor chipped in 12 points and five rebounds, and Jerami Grant added 14 and seven.
As for Bryant, the evanescent icon began the game hot, nailing three of his first four shots, all from three-point range, but struggled down the stretch. He finished 7-of-26 for 20 points. The crowd chanted his name after the game as he dapped up each Sixers player and delivered a final wave to the Philadelphia
crowd, but the good vibes were all the Lakers had to hold on to: Los Angeles drops to 2–15 with the loss, a similarly futile mark.
The Sixers, at 1–18, share the record for worst start to a season (18 straight losses) with the 2009–10 New Jersey Nets, who finished 12–70. They can win back-to-back games for the first time since March on Wednesday against the Knicks in New York. The win Tuesday marked the first victory since March 25, 2015.
In Cleveland, John Wall scored a season- high 35 points and Washington handed Cleveland its first home loss of the season, 97-85.
The Wizards, who never trailed, scored
the first 10 points of the game and went on a 9-0 run to begin the second half in snapping a four-game losing streak.
LeBron James had 24 points, but the Cavaliers lost for the first time in 10 games this season at Quicken Loans Arena.
Wall was 14 of 24 from the field and had 10 assists. Bradley Beal scored 18 and Marcin Gortat added 15 points with 11 rebounds for the Wizards.
In other matches, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the struggling New Orleans Pelicans 113-104, the Orlando Magic edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-93 and the Brooklyn Nets won 94-91 over the Phoenix Suns