for this game

Bryant sparks third-quarter run to propel Lakers

Jan 1, 2007 - 6:57 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- If Kobe Bryant was fatigued by the Los Angeles Lakers' recent six-game road trip, he did not show it.

Bryant sparked a 17-6 third-quarter run to carry the Lakers to a 104-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Lakers, winners in two of their last three, improved to 14-4 at home this season.

"I thought we played through some lethargy out there in the first half and then came back and had an ample third quarter," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "And Kobe was pretty good in the third quarter.

"I wasn't pleased tonight. I thought there were some opportunities that we didn't really take advantage of. We didn't get second effort in the first half. So we got after them a little bit at halftime and getting second effort, offensive rebounds."

"I thought our game was just OK," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "There are a lot of little things that we still need work on. I thought that most of the energy we put out on the floor was good. But there are just a lot of little things we have to correct."

After Maurice Evans started the Los Angeles run with a free throw with 5:08 left in the third quarter to give the Lakers a 66-60 lead, Bryant went to work, scoring 12 of his 35 points to help his team pull away.

"I was just pacing my self a little bit (after the road trip), it was a long trip and we ended it with a three-overtime game," Bryant said. "We struggled a little tonight to get back into it. We didn't want to have a game where they just hung around there and potentially steal one from us."

Bryant capped the run with a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the period to give Los Angeles an 83-66 advantage.

"Tonight I felt pretty good," Bryant said. "I felt I was on cruise control for the most part. I didn't really have to turn it up until the third quarter. It was pretty much an easy game for me personally so I feel pretty good right now."

"Kobe Bryant is an amazing player," Cheeks said. "For example, there was a play he made off the break where he is trying to get somebody else the shot and we go on the other end and make a three. Then he comes down and makes an incredible 3-point shot. I think that is the kind of player he is. He does things night in and night out that we don't see every night, but the people in Los Angeles see."

Smush Parker added 12 points and Luke Walton finished with 11 for Los Angeles, which shot 48 percent (39-of-82) from the floor.

Kyle Korver scored 29 points while Andre Iguodala added 19 for the Sixers, who fell to 1-3 on its seven-game West Coast road trip.

"We were kind of just hanging out the whole game," Korver said. "We never really made that run to really make it a game. Our defense just wasn't really quite good enough, and he (Bryant) had a great shooting night."

Los Angeles forward Kwame Brown suffered a severe left ankle sprain with 8:51 left in the first quarter. X-rays were inconclusive and he is scheduled to undergo further tests on Monday.

"It's a severely sprained ankle but I couldn't give you a grade 1, 2, or 3 on it," Jackson said. "We won't know until tomorrow. They'll do some tests on it, but we can expect he's going to be out for a little bit."

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