Philly takes center stage in the NBA

The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Sacramento Kings 112-85 on Tuesday, their sixth straight win, which is their longest losing streak in three years.

It's Philly's fifth 20-point win of the season, no other team has more than two such wins. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the last team with at least five 20-point wins within the first nine games of the season was the 1969-70 New York Knicks, who won six in that span. The Knicks would go on to win the NBA Finals that season.

The Sixers have been doing it with defense. They entered the game leading the NBA in FG pct defense, and after keeping the Kings to just 39.5 percent shooting, have held their opponents below 40 percent in four straight games and in five of the six games on their win streak.

Philly leads the league in opponents’ points per game, one of just two teams in the NBA allowing fewer than 90 per contest. Sacramento’s starters combined to shoot just 38 percent from the floor and just 1-for-9 from 3-point range.

Philadelphia also leads the league in PPG differential, so don’t forget about the offense. The Sixers are second in the NBA in points per game after shooting a season-high 57 percent from the field and racking up a season high in points.

Elton Brand scored a season-high 21 points (10-14 FG) -- more than he had in his previous three games combined -- to lead six Philly players in double digits. He added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

Evan Turner had his first double-double of the season off the bench, with 16 points and season highs of 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Sixers bench (53) nearly matched the starters (59) in scoring.

Kobe Bryant

BryantIn one of the late games, Kobe Bryant, who went to high school in the Philadelphia suburbs, notched his 108th career 40-point game, going 18-for-31 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the foul line in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99-83 win over the Phoenix Suns.

According to Elias, Bryant -- who is in his 16th NBA season -- is the only player in NBA history to score at least 48 points in a game that deep into his career.

Most Points in Single Game, NBA History
At Least 16 Seasons Into Career

Elias also says that Bryant trails only Michael Jordan (173) and Wilt Chamberlain (271) in career 40-point games. He’s the active leader by more than double -- LeBron James is next on that list with 46 such games.

Kobe got all his points without a three-pointer, the most points without a three-pointer since Amare Stoudemire scored 49 on November 5, 2008.

It's the first 40-point game in the NBA this season; the previous high for points was 39, by none other than Kobe Bryant (39 against the Warriors on Friday). Despite going 0-for-3 from three-point range, Bryant shot 58.1 percent from the floor, tied for his seventh-best shooting percentage in a game with at least 30 field-goal attempts.