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Injury-ravaged Lakers head to Philadelphia
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers hope to have enough healthy bodies when they close out a three-game road trip Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
The Lakers were shorthanded in Wednesday's 119-108 win at Cleveland and started the game with eight healthy players, but injuries took a toll on them despite the victory. With Kobe Bryant (knee) and Pau Gasol (groin) already out, the Lakers didn't have Steve Nash (rest), Xavier Henry (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Jordan Hill (head/neck).
Nick Young suffered a knee injury and Jordan Farmar was bothered by a calf issue, but had to return to action. Chris Kaman fouled out and Robert Sacre drew his sixth foul, but was able to play after the Lakers accepted a technical foul.
When the dust settled, Ryan Kelly finished with a career-high 26 points, Farmar added 21 and Wesley Johnson scored 20 for the Lakers, who shot 53.2 percent from the field and hit a regulation franchise record 18 3-pointers, going 18-of-37 from downtown. Steve Blake had a triple-double of 11 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in his second game back from an elbow injury.
"He makes a big difference because he plays hard," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said of Blake. "Plays with grit, determination. He doesn't back down."
The 119 points were a season-high for the Lakers, who are 9-19 on the road and halted a seven-game losing streak. They will return home for six straight games after visiting the Sixers.
Philadelphia has lost four straight and seven of eight games, and is coming off Wednesday's 114-108 home loss to the Boston Celtics.
Thaddeus Young led seven players in double figures with 20 points, while Tony Wroten added 18 and Spencer Hawes contributed 13 and 14 rebounds. Evan Turner (12), James Anderson (11), rookie Michael Carter-Williams (11) and LaVoy Allen (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Sixers.
The 76ers were able to fight back and make it interesting at the end, but eventually dropped to 3-14 in their last 17 games.
"Kind of like the story of the year," Hawes said of creeping back. "We battle back, but it takes so much energy to get back into games."
After the Sixers host the Lakers, they will head west to take on the Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz.
Philly has lost 12 of its past 14 home games, including six straight, and is 8-17 overall at Wells Fargo Center this season. The last time the Sixers lost seven in a row at home was during a 12-game drought back on 1996-97.
The 76ers defeated the Lakers 111-104 at Staples Center on Dec. 29 and have won three of the past four matchups in this series. Los Angeles is 5-1 in its last six trips to the City of Brotherly Love.
02/07 10:16:21 ET
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