- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Steve Nash celebrated his 40th birthday with a vintage performance.

Nash scored a season-high 19 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 112-98 Friday night.

Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman each scored 17 and six Lakers finished with double-digit points.

Nash, the oldest player in the NBA, played like the guy who was a two-time NBA MVP a decade ago. He had five assists, four rebounds and shot 8 for 15 in just his eighth game of the season.


“I thought I could play well, I could contribute,” he said. “At this point, I don’t take anything for granted. It’s a grind for me to get ready to play every day. I’m just thrilled I can move out there without restriction and help my team.”

In a way, Nash also helped his opponent by putting on a clinic for the younger guys.

“He’s a great player, always under control, uses his screens well. I can learn a lot from him,” Sixers rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams said.

Tony Wroten scored 16 and Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes each had 15 for Philadelphia, which lost its fifth straight game, seventh in a row at home and 15th of 18 overall.

“It appears we play better on the road,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “Everybody wants to do better in our city, in front of our fans.”

The Lakers won their second straight game after losing seven in a row.

A pair of once-proud franchises that last met in the NBA Finals in 2001, both teams are headed for the draft lottery this season. The Sixers own the league’s third-worst record while the Lakers came in tied for seventh-worst.

The Sixers led the entire first half, going up by as many as nine points a few times. Blake hit consecutive 3s for the Lakers to cut it to 64-61 at halftime.

The Lakers took their first lead, 68-67, in the third on Sacre’s dunk. They were up 87-82 when Wroten sank a 62-footer at the buzzer. It was his second shot beyond half court in two games. He made a 58-footer to end the third in a loss to Boston on Wednesday.

Los Angeles pulled away early in the fourth. Kaman and Jordan Hill combined for all the points in a 10-0 run that put the Lakers up 101-90 and the Sixers never recovered.

“It feels great to get two wins in a row,” Kaman said. “This was satisfying because it was a total team effort. Steve Nash was amazing. He’s incredible to do what he does at age 40. He’s a true professional and we’re lucky to have him.”

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