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Game Preview: Kobe Bryant's final visit to Philadelphia, Lakers look to snap losing streak vs. 76ers

The Kobe Bryant farewell tour goes on an eight-game trip out East, beginning in Philadelphia.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers begin an eight-game road trip with a visit to the NBA's worst team, the Philadelphia 76ers. It's a big night with Kobe Bryant returning to Philadelphia. This will be his final game as a professional basketball player in his hometown, which is perfect timing as he officially get his farewell tour through the league underway. This long journey away from Staples will make for a huge stretch of last-time-arounds in the arenas of several Eastern Conference teams.

The Lakers are now on a six-game losing streak, their longest of the season, and face the last team in the NBA without a win. Should the Lakers prevail, the Sixers will earn the dishonor of having the worst starting record in league history. It's quite the coincidence that Los Angeles could be a part of both the best, and worst, starts in league history all in the span of a few weeks.

A loss, however, would be an entirely different bookend to this bit of "history" for the Lakers. Being the team that the 76ers break their 17-game losing streak against would be a new low for a disappointing season. The purple and gold looked extra out of sync to open against the Indiana Pacers, which is a telling sign considering how often they've struggled through season.

D'Angelo Russell and Jahlil Okafor playing each other is another story to keep an eye on. The Lakers seemingly narrowed their selection down to the two lottery prospects, choosing the potential franchise point guard over the low-post presence of Okafor. The former Duke Blue Devil has recently ran into off-court issues, including a street fight that was caught on tape in Boston, but he's put up numbers for Philadelphia. Jahlil is averaging 17.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in 33 minutes per game, though the Sixers remain winless.

The bottom two teams in the NBA meet in what should be an ugly night of basketball. This is the first half of a back-to-back for the Lakers, hitting the road to play the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Time: 4 p.m. PT


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