Phrustrated. Phlummoxed. Phlushed. Andre Igoudala of the Philadelphia 76ers drained a three-pointer from the top of the key with no time remaining on the clock to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, 94-93. Prior to his game winner, Igoudala was 0-6 on his trey attempts. Kobe Bryant had a miserable game, connecting on only 5-15 from the floor with 0 free throw attempts to phinish with 11 points along with 5 costly turnovers. But he did hit the apparent game winner on a 22-ft. jumper to put the Lakers ahead 93-91 with 6 seconds to play before Igoudala’s heroics put an end to the Lakers 7-game home winning streak. Los Angeles (53-14) now falls a phull game behind Cleveland (54-13) for the best record in the league. Pau Gasol continued his steady play but did not get enough touches in the second half. He finished with 25 points on 9-12 shooting, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Trevor Ariza provided 16 points along with 8 rebounds, and Lamar Odom added 14 points and 11 rebounds. But the story of the game was the uncharacteristic poor performance of Kobe. He was plagued by phouls throughout the contest and never seemed to get untracked. The bench could not provide any stability as they again gave up big leads which allowed Philly to stay within striking distance.
With only 15 games remaining on the Lakers schedule, they conclude their short home stand with Golden State on Thursday, then head off on a 7-game, 14-day road trip. Cleveland appears to have the easier schedule with the majority of their games at home where their only loss remains against the Lakers. One loss does not make or break a season, but this lackluster performance may loom large in the big picture of gaining home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Philly’s unsung hero was seldom used power phorward, Donyell Marshall, who in 10 minutes of action, reignited the 76ers offense with 9 points (3-3 on treys) in the 4th quarter. Iguodala finished with 25 points, guard Lou Williams added 18 points off the bench, and Thaddeus Young rounded out the scoring with 14 points. St. Patrick’s Day did not bode well for the Lakers, nor did Kobe’s unsightly green shoelaces. In order for the Lakers to get back on track, we need the Bench Mob to shake out of their phunk, and return to the purple and gold style of play that has sustained them thus far. Four leaf clovers, leprechauns and green shoelaces are for Boston fans. Burn those shoes Kobe, and get on with the business at hand. This loss leaves an unsavory taste in the mouths of Lakers phans. Phlabbergasted. Phooey. Ph_ck.