Bryant went 8 for 14 from the floor and made 4 of 6 3s in the first half to help the Lakers lead 50-46 at the break.
He went into hibernation until an up-and-under bucket late in the third pulled the Lakers to 63-61.
O'Neal and Bryant often clashed, even while leading the Lakers to NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. O'Neal won an NBA championship with Miami in 2006 to briefly edge Bryant in total championships. Under coach Phil Jackson, Bryant won consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, and had long ago cemented his spot as one of the NBA's all-time greats.
Kobe already had more championship rings than Shaq. He has more points, too.
"I just want No. 6," Bryant said.
The Sixers failed to acknowledge the special achievement.
O'Neal offered his congratulations on Twitter: "Congrats to Kobe for being the greatest laker ever thanks for making us the greatest laker one two punch ever and congrats on passin me up 2."
"I appreciate it. I'm sure Shaq and I will connect at some point and revisit history," he said. "It's fun. We had some good times."
Bryant, who spent eight years of his childhood in Italy before returning to the area to attend high school, had already been the youngest player in NBA history to reach 28,000 points.
Bryant led Lower Merion to a state championship in 1996 and still makes visits and donations to the school.
The relationship between Philly fans and Bryant has been strained since the 2001 NBA finals against the Sixers, when he proclaimed he was "coming to Philly to cut their hearts out." That began an unforgiving attitude from Sixers fanatics that continues to this day.
When commissioner David Stern presented Bryant with the All-Star game MVP trophy in 2002 in Philadelphia, the boos were long and loud, and he later admitted he was hurt.
He now feeds off Philadelphia's sound and delights in upsetting the home crowd.
It just wasn't enough to upset the 76ers.
Notes: 76ers F Elton Brand sat out with a sprained right thumb. Lavoy Allen got the start. ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain are ahead of Bryant on the scoring list. ... The Sixers 14 rebounds in the first half was a season low.
- Past few days 'difficult' for former...
- Defending champ Serena Williams at Wimbledon...
- Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as...
- Messi's retirement from Argentina could hurt...
- Most common names of NBA players this season
- Injured Lochte plows ahead in 200 free at US...
- Djokovic beat James Ward to open bid for 5th...
- Durant, Anthony lead US Olympic basketball team
- Kalani Sitake on BYU-Utah rivalry: 'I... 79
- Morning links: Colin Cowherd compares... 63
- Sitake not intimidated by BYU's arduous... 59
- Dick Harmon: 1996 Cotton Bowl champion... 51
- Morning Links: BYU basketball fans... 44
- 10 takeaways from BYU football media day 30
- Who will be BYU's starting quarterback?... 24
- Utah football: Williams, McCormick... 21