KOBEautiful

Maybe you can home again

After all, it has been seven seasons since Kobe Bryant said he wanted to "cut the heart" out of Philadelphia and then actually did during the 2001 NBA Finals. That's a long time to hold a grudge against a guy.

Wednesday night's crowd at the Wachovia Center was not as acerbic to Bryant as they have been to him in the past.

"Lot of Lower Merion (High School) alums," Bryant said of the atypical cheering he received. "We're deep."

Bryant certainly put on another show in the hometown that loves to hate him by scoring 32 with six rebounds and four assists in the Lakers; 114-102 victory over the Sixers.

Philadelphia was the victim of a more focused Bryant, who was still smarting from the Lakers' fourth-quarter collapse at Indiana on Tuesday.

"Normally when I come to Philly, I go get a cheesesteak, drive around the old neighborhood and stuff like that," he said. "Today I was too upset. I just zeroed in on the game."

In his 23rd game against his hometown team, Bryant was nine points better than the 23.0 points he had averaged.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has owned the Sixers in Southern California, posting an 8-0 record agains them at the Staples Center. But the victory was just his third in 10 games in Philadelphia as coach of the Lakers.

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