Evan Turner is averaging 15.4 points per game and shooting 47.5% from three… (Jared Wickerham / Getty…)
The Lakers visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night, playing their fourth of four on the road. This is the first meeting between the Lakers and Sixers since the Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum/Andre Iguodala trade that landed Howard in Los Angeles.
Bynum is a Sixer in name but has yet to play, struggling with knee issues. Philadelphia may not have point guard Jrue Holiday, who is a game-time decision after a foot injury.
The Sixers (12-11) are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference after losing two straight. The Lakers (10-14) are 12th in the West, finally ending a four-game losing streak Saturday against the Washington Wizards.
Both teams need a win. If Holiday sits, the Lakers may have a better chance given the absence of Steve Nash (leg), Pau Gasol (knees) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery).
Unfortunately the obvious Howard/Bynum matchup will have to wait. Howard vs. Lavoy Allen just doesn't light up the marquee.
The Sixers used to always have Iguodala to defend Kobe Bryant. Evan Turner may get a lengthy crack. The 6-foot7 forward-guard is having a strong season, averaging 15.4 points a game while shooting 47.5% from three-point range.
Before his teammates fell one by one with injury, Bryant was having the most efficient shooting season of his career. If Turner can goad Bryant into a high-volume/low-percentage night, the Sixers might have the advantage given how inconsistent the rest of the Lakers have been over the last few weeks.
Any team that has Nick Young has a significant X-factor. While he hasn't been consistent so far this season, this is one of those games where Young might come in and hit five or six three-pointers.
The Lakers have their version of Young in Jodie Meeks, who is coming off his best game of the season against the Wizards.
Both teams need bench support and either Young or Meeks, or even both, may have a say in the outcome.
The Lakers didn't win pretty in Washington but they won. Gasol isn't far off from returning, and the team hopes Nash is right behind him.
In the meantime, it's hard to pick the Lakers in almost any road game.
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