PHILADELPHIA: Kobe Bryant passed former teammate Shaquille O’Neal for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list Monday but Philadelphia spoiled the moment with a 95-90 victory over Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant came into the game with 28,573 career points and needing 24 points to move past O’Neal for fifth on the career list.
He scored 24 in the first half, draining a long-range jump shot with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter to get to 24 points for the night.
He got a hug from teammate Derek Fisher, but the Lakers superstar scored just four points in the second half in the face of aggressive 76ers defence.
O’Neal, who won three titles with Bryant in nine seasons they played together for the Lakers, retired last season with a total of 28,596 points in his 19-year NBA career. He also played for Orlando, Miami, Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 38,387 points, leads the NBA’s career scoring list, followed by Karl Malone (36,928), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). Lakers coach Mike Brown said Monday he thought Bryant, a 16-year NBA veteran, could reach the top of the list before he’s done.
“It might be tough for him to pass Kareem, but he should get close. He should catch Malone,” Brown said after the Lakers practiced on Monday. Brown wasn’t on the sideline for the game as he served a one-game suspension for bumping a game official in the Lakers’ loss at Utah on Saturday.
With Bryant leading the way the Lakers led 50-46 at halftime, but the 76ers edged ahead in the third quarter.
Sixers reserve Lou Williams played a key role, scoring 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia improved to 13-3 at home.
“They just came after him immediately,” John Kuester — standing in for Brown — said of Bryant’s inability to score in the second half.
“To Kobe’s credit, what he did was try to get everybody involved. We had some great looks.”