Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia felt like the past. It felt like the rivalry that happened when the Sixers and Lakers played each other in the 1980s NBA Finals three times and the match up in the 2001 Final. They were taking on a franchise that has a lot of history and Kobe Bryant who has won numerous championships and was returning back home to Philadelphia. This was a big game for the Sixers because this team wanted to show everyone that they do belong up there with the best teams in the NBA.
The Lakers Kobe Bryant's return home got off to a quick start as he got 24 points in the first half and went past former teammate Shaquille O'Neal to become the fifth-all time leading scorer in NBA History. The Sixers however were totally ready to play and showed Kobe and the Lakers that they are a team that needs to be taken serious and they are a top team in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers Lou Williams took the game over late to lead the Sixers to a 95-90 come-from-behind victory against the Lakers in front of a sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
Lou Williams scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter which included 12 of the Sixers final 15 points in the final minutes of the game. The Sixers at one point were trailing 88-84 and came back to win the game. This game was a total playoff atmosphere and the crowd was totally in the game. The intensity level by both teams created this atmosphere as the crowd was rocking the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers Andre Iguodala finished the game with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He played excellent defense which was a big key for that, the Sixers got the victory. He was guarding Kobe Bryant and in the second half Bryant was getting frustrated at times.
The Sixers with the win improved to 18-7 overall and 13-3 at the Wells Fargo Center. They are totally taken advantage of their home court and that is going to be a big factor as they get to the playoffs. The Lakers Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 20 rebounds and Pau Gasol had 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers only had four turnovers in the game and they still lost the game.
The Sixers on Wednesday night host the San Antonio Spurs in another tough game against a Western Conference opponent. This Sixers team's trade mark is their defense. The team defense is the difference in games and Sixers are winning these games because of it. For them to be successful they will need to continue to play tough team defense. Good defense wins games and right now the Sixers are doing that.