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Williams rallies 76ers to 95-90 win over Lakers

By Dan Gelston

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 6 2012 9:25 p.m. MST

PHILADELPHIA — Kobe Bryant had his place in history. With "Beat L.A.!" echoing through a second straight sellout crowd, Lou Williams had his shot to remember.

Williams nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer, scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and spoiled Bryant's record-setting night while leading the Philadelphia 76ers to 95-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Williams hit the tying jumper, then followed with the 3 for a 91-88 lead in front of 20,064 fans — a number that for the first time in years was there to root on the Sixers instead of simply to boo Bryant. Williams hit another floater to make it 93-88, part of a fantastic fourth that saw him hold off Bryant and help the Sixers improve to 13-3 at home.

"From the start of my basketball career, and for as long as I could remember, I've always played well in the fourth quarter," Williams said. "I know that's the most important time of a basketball game."

Bryant scored 24 of his 28 points in the first half. He passed former teammate Shaquille O'Neal and moved into fifth place on the NBA's career scoring list. Bryant got 24 points in a hurry to pass O'Neal, but stumbled down the stretch and missed nine of his 10 shots in the fourth.

The 33-year-old Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer with 29.4 points, has 28,601 career points.

Bryant said it was an honor to pass O'Neal because of "our history."

"All the battles we've been in, the playoff battles, the duo that we've been able to form," Bryant said. "When you (consider) the championships, it makes it a little more significant."

Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Lakers. Pau Gasol had 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers fell to 3-9 on the road.

The Sixers went 3-1 last week against a fierce lineup of Orlando, Chicago, Miami (the loss) and Atlanta. It's more of the same this week: San Antonio is here Wednesday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

The Sixers have proven they can handle the rugged schedule.

They committed only four turnovers, a minuscule number that was enough to make up for getting pounded on the boards. Led by Bynum and Gasol, the Lakers outrebounded Philadelphia 55-30.

Williams, one of the top sixth men in the NBA, has never been afraid to take the clutch shot. While the Sixers have soared in the East this season with a team-oriented approach, Williams is the one the Sixers want with the ball and the game on the line.

"That was an amazing win for us," coach Doug Collins said.

Lakers coach Mike Brown must have been unhappy watching on TV. Brown served a one-game suspension for making contact with a game official and failure to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection in Saturday's game. He also was fined $25,000. John Keuster filled in for Brown.

Bryant started like a shooter determined to score 50.

His first bucket saw the ball take a few whirls around the rim before plopping through the net. Bryant buried a 3, then backed down Evan Turner and used a soft touch off a spin move for seven quick points.

He stared down Andre Iguodala for a 3. Bryant nailed two more 3-pointers — each one drawing more boos than the last — and had 22 points in the second quarter.

For the record setter, Bryant cut toward the top of the 3-point arc, took a fast feed from Matt Barnes and hit the 23-footer.

Originally called a 3, Bryant had his foot on the line. Three points or two, it was enough to pass O'Neal.

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