Lou Williams has big 4th to lead Bryant-less Lakers over 76ers

Lou Williams celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers teammate Julius Randle on Friday. (Danny Moloshok/AP)

LOS ANGELES — Lou Williams scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter against his former team and Jordan Clarkson added 19, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 93-84 victory over Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. had a season-high 14 rebounds and eight points for the Lakers on his 23rd birthday while playing on a tender right ankle.

Julius Randle scored 15 off the bench for Los Angeles in a matchup between teams with the NBA’s two worst records. The Sixers (3-32) and Lakers (7-27) have played each other four times in the NBA Finals, most recently in 2001.

Kobe Bryant didn’t play for the Lakers against his hometown team because of a sore right shoulder, the same one he had surgery on last January to repair a torn rotator cuff. That forced the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer to miss the final 48 games of the 2014-15 season.

Bryant is averaging 17.2 points in 29 games for the Lakers, who were coming off a 112-104 victory at Boston on Wednesday night in which he recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes and shot 5 for 18 from the field.

Nerlens Noel had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who tied an NBA record with their 0-18 start before beating the Lakers 103-91 on Dec. 1 at Philadelphia.

Point guard Ish Smith had nine points and three assists in his fourth game since returning to the Sixers in a trade from New Orleans on Nov. 24.

Both teams shot less than 35 per cent from the field through the first three quarters, with the Lakers holding a 62-60 edge. Nik Stauskas, the first player off the Sixers' bench, helped them reduce an eight-point deficit to 73-70 on a dunk with 8:11 remaining after missing his first six shots.

But Williams, who played his first seven NBA seasons in Philadelphia, hit a pair of 3-pointers and a 20-footer during a 15-2 run that gave Los Angeles an 88-72 cushion with 4:21 left.

Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell and 76ers centre Jahlil Okafor, the second and third overall picks in the draft, respectively, both came off the bench in their second showdown as pros after each started in the first meeting. Russell had six points and five assists in 26 minutes. Okafor had 12 points and four rebounds in 23 minutes.

It was the fifth game Bryant has sat out this season, and the second in two weeks because of shoulder issues. The 20-year veteran, who turned 37 in August, announced on Nov. 29 that this would be his final season.

The 20-year veteran averaged 23.5 points, 4.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 45.6 per cent from the field in 32 regular-season games against the 76ers.


76ers: Mike D'Antoni, hired as associate head coach on Dec. 18, made his first visit to Staples Center with an NBA club since the Lakers fired him as head coach following the 2013-14 campaign after they made the playoffs in his first season at the helm. . The 76ers were 17-69 during the 2015 calendar year, and the Lakers were 17-66.

Lakers: Rookie Anthony Brown started at Bryant's small forward spot, getting five points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. . The Lakers had a float in the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on Friday morning, becoming the first NBA team in history to do so. It was called "Every Second Is An Adventure." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former Laker Girl Paula Abdul rode on the float during the 5 1/2-mile trek down Colorado Boulevard, while the current Laker Girls performed alongside of it. The 55-foot-long vehicle featured a giant hoop, 16 stars representing the number of world championships won by the franchise, three of the trophies, and 10 jerseys of Lakers greats -- including Bryant.


76ers: At Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Lakers: Host Phoenix on Sunday.