Video Credit: NBA

New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs 76ers- Game 73

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (31-40) | Philadelphia 76ers (41-31)

 

Without Lebron James in the lineup, the Lakers still made it close despite the 126-121 loss to the 76ers.

 

Lakers vs 76ers
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

The Lakers were without Lebron James last night as he continues to prepare for the Play-in Tournament.  While no reports leave Laker fans with a need to worry, more pressure was on the rest of the team to perform.

Both teams were a combined 0-7 from the field before Joel Embiid got the scoring started.  Philadelphia shot just 37 percent in the quarter, while the Lakers shot 50 percent.  Stanley Johnson stepped in the quarter, leading a 13-4 run with two threes to put LA up by 7.  Shooting 3-3 from behind the arc in the quarter, Johnson continued to play to the expectations that got him on the roster.

The Lakers shut down James Harden in the quarter, keeping him at 1-6 early.  It kept the 76ers behind, but Embiid and Georges Niang were able to keep it close.  Los Angeles was up 7 in the quarter’s final minute, but two threes from Niang brought it close by the buzzer.  The Lakers were up 3, keeping Harden quiet despite 10 points from Embiid.

Shake Milton got the ball and knotted things up with a three to start the second, but Malik Monk led a 9-2 run in response.  The Lakers had been up the whole game, but a focused defense began to let the 76ers back in it.  Tobias Harris put his team back on top with five quick points, setting up four lead changes.

Philadelphia began to pull away eventually to the Lakers‘ dismay, with Embiid and Harris leading a 14-5 run to take a 9-point lead over LA.  They got their shooting percentage up to 49 percent, shifting the momentum in their favor. Stanley Johnson had a tremendous first but was scoreless in the second quarter.  Russell Westbrook only had 4 points by the break shooting 2-8, leaving the offense without a true leader in the half.  The Lakers locking down Harden in the half was why they started ahead, but a formidable opponent like Philly always adjusts.

Every game is a fight for seeding as the season runs out for the Lakers, who looked to Westbrook to get it going in the second half.  Missing James and Anthony Davis again put most of the pressure on the former MVP.  Embiid had 16 points in the half, pushing the 76ers to a steady lead.

The Lakers lost an established lead to the 76ers by halftime, down 61-52 going into the second half.

 

Lakers vs 76ers
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

Embiid and Harris added to the lead to start the half, but Dwight Howard began to step up off the bench for Los Angeles.  He scored eight straight points, but Embiid kept things at double-digits.  Harden then hit consecutive threes, and Philly would grab a 15-point lead.

After Howard got on a roll for LA, things slowed down in the middle of the third.  The Lakers then turned it around with a 20-8 run out of nowhere, with Malik Monk leading the way on two highlight dunks.  Westbrook had two threes during the run as well, improving from the first half.  The Lakers drew within two before the fourth quarter.

Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony kept things close to start the quarter, both reaching 20 points.  Tobias Harris would have the 76ers back up by 7, looking to put away the resilient Lakers for good. After Austin Reaves brought it back to a one-score game, a 9-2 run for Philly got them back in a superior position.

The Laker offense performed well all night without James, and after being down 10 points with 2 minutes to play, they went on a 13-7 run.  The deficit was down to 4, but the Lakers didn’t have enough time to mount a comeback.  With eight players from each side reaching 20 points, the offense was prominent for both teams.  The 76ers were ultimately hungrier last night, giving them the edge to secure the win.

 

The Lakers are off the next three days before heading to New Orleans on Sunday. They will face the Pelicans at 4 p.m. on Spectrum.         

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Duncan Dye – Franchise Sports Media

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