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Title:Christmas Holiday Special: Allen Iverson vs. Kobe Bryant (2002) *1st game after NBA Final 2001
Duration:09:44
Viewed:17,374
Published:22-12-2017
Source:Youtube

The Los Angeles Lakers proved they are more than a two-man team. With Shaquille O'Neal on the injured list and Kobe Bryant struggling, the Lakers received significant contributions from others in rallying from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter for an 88-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in a rematch of the 2001 NBA Finals. Samaki Walker made the start at center and collected a season-high 18 points to go with 10 rebounds while Stanislav Medevedenko added 12 points for Los Angeles after O'Neal was placed on the injured list with toe problems. "Well, that was a good win for our team," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "A lot of momentum in the second half, good defense and an enthusiastic crowd behind us is a big help for us." Philadelphia was in control through the first three quarters and took a 73-60 advantage on a basket by Corie Blount with 9:34 remaining. Bryant had just four points on 2-of-14 shooting through three quarters as he was clearly hampered by a strained muscle in his rib cage. But his jumper triggered a 19-2 run that gave Los Angeles the lead for good at 79-75 with 4:17 to play. Lindsey Hunter had a pair of 3-pointers in the burst, including one that gave the Lakers a 77-75 lead. "I think defensively we turned it up a lot," Hunter said. "We limited them to one shots, created some turnovers. It was a really good defensive effort by everybody." A basket by Dikembe Mutombo pulled the Sixers within 79-77 with 2:41 remaining before Bryant finally got his game untracked. He scored a pair of baskets and Robert Horry converted two foul shots to extend to 85-77 with 27 seconds to go. "I was just waiting and pacing myself throughout the game for the right time to find my shots," Bryant said. "And it came in the fourth." Philadelphia made one last charge as Matt Harpring's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 85-82 with 14 seconds left. Devean George made one free throw and Allen Iverson turned over the ball on the next possession to seal the Sixers' fate. "We had this one in the bag," Iverson said. "We gave this one away. We gave them a gift, a Christmas gift." Despite his struggles, Bryant just missed a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Brian Shaw scored 13 points off the bench and Horry added 11 boards. But the production of Walker and Medevedenko was a major surprise for two players who entered the contest averaging a combined 9.7 points. Walker made 7-of-9 shots while Medevedenko converted 6-of-8. "Today I was a little more aggressive," Walker said. "I knew where to move and felt a lot more comfortable." Iverson led all scorers with 31 points for Philadelphia, which was limited to six field goals in the fourth quarter. The Sixers committed seven of their 15 turnovers in the final quarter. "We came out in the fourth quarter and made some driving plays and all of a sudden, we started shooting jumpers and they started making them," Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "We think we're going to outscore somebody and that's not how we play." Mutombo had 12 points and 13 rebounds while Derrick Coleman also had a double-double with 12 and 10. But the Sixers dropped the opener of a seven-game Western Conference road trip and have lost six of seven on the road. "We don't finish games out," Iverson said. "The stuff worked, we just had to stay with it. You have to keep playing defense, obviously. When stuff works, you have to keep doing it."

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