The Philadelphia 76ers beat Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in his last game in Philadelphia, ever. They picked up their first win of the year, and just barely escaped having the worst start for a franchise ever in the NBA. Sixers fans can now rest a little easier knowing the first win is out of the way. December may bring even more.
Here is all the morning news you need to know.
Pressey providing the Sixers with speed — Brian Seltzer
“He has an NBA gift in that he has speed,” Brown said during the Sixers’ stop in Houston on Friday. “And there’s a physicality to his speed that lets him play in traffic and take hits and bumps. He’s got a motor. He’s got a pace. We know ending and closing out games has been a problem for us, primarily because we get stood up. It’s no secret we’re trying to go to Jahlil [Okafor], but you can’t make the defense promise they’re going to let it get in there. And so when they all of a sudden deny the obvious, now what do you do? And that’s where we struggled. And so he has that gift.” Brown cited that skill as the reason why Pressey, the son of former NBA player Paul Pressey, found himself in position to take a game-tying field goal attempt in the final seconds of Wednesday’s 84-80 loss to the Boston Celtics.
76ers rookie Okafor gets security guard — John Hickey
76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor isn’t going to be lonely. After some run-ins off the court, including at least one potentially dangerous incident, the Philly rooking will be accompanied by a security guard whenever he goes out. “A lot of teams do that for their players,” a source told ESPN.com. So from now on, the Sixers are going to have someone at his disposal full-time. Last week video emerged of Okafor, a first-round pick out of Duke, in a brawl outside a Boston nightclub, although no charges have yet been filed. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported an October incident in which a heckler pointed a gun at the rookie. And the paper also reported he was stopped by police driving 108 mph on a Philadelphia bridge with a 40 mph speed limit.
Sixers top Lakers for first win of season — Bob Cooney
Somehow, he had enough spring to get off four three-pointers, with three makes, in the first one minute, 16 seconds of the game to bring an already buzzed crowd to full euphoria. But it wasn’t until the final horn Tuesday night that the crowd really let it go, as the 76ers won for the first time in 19 games this season and for the first time in 28 tries with a 103-91 victory over the Lakers and Bryant in his last trip to Philadelphia as a pro basketball player. On a night when the team broke those two streaks and honored the late, great Moses Malone at halftime, Bryant still was the big story for most of the night. He showed flashes of the younger version of himself, embarrassingly breaking down defenders off the dribble, finding that early that early stroke. But he also showed why he is calling it quits after this season, missing 14 of his final 16 shots en route to 20 points on 7-of-26 shooting.