The Los Angeles Lakers were in the City of Brotherly Love on Monday night to take on the Philadelphia 76ers and wrap up a five game road trip, their longest of the season. The Lakers have lost three of the four games so far, and were looking to end a two game losing skid.
This game would have big implications on the NBA draft lottery, with the Sixers and Lakers owning the fourth and third worst records in the league respectively. Coming into the game, the Lakers record was 19-53, while Philadelphia had a mark of 18-56. The Lakers were two games back of Philly in an unglamorous category, but the lottery will surely make an impact on the off season and the kind of moves the Lakers will make.
Byron Scott was short of the wealth of options usually at his disposal as Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, and Carlos Boozer all out of the game. The starting lineup was comprised of Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington in the backcourt, Wesley Johnson at the three, with Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black manning the frontcourt.
After the 76ers jumped to a 4-0 lead, Jordan Clarkson cut inside and made an easy layup. Both teams were active offensively as Jakaar Sampson and Wayne Ellington traded threes. Tarik Black battled on the boards and dunked his own miss cutting the deficit to two. Clarkson hit again, this time from the perimeter and the game was tied at nine. Robert Sacre entered the game for Black as the latter had two fouls. An 8-0 Sixers run had the Lakers down 17-9. A jumper from Sacre finally broke the dry spell. There was a scramble for the ball that ended with a solo dunk by Furkan Aldemir, and Byron Scott called for time. The Lakers were down 22-11 with five minutes to play in the quarter. After over two minutes without scoring, a free throw by Ellington cut the deficit back down to 11. Sacre flashed his skill on both ends with a block, and scoring a layup from an offensive rebound. Johnson hit a jumper and the Sixers lead was reduced to single digits. Thomas Robinson hit a contested layup, and Jordan Hill had to exit as he quickly accumulated three fouls. The Lakers did not end the quarter well offensively, and were down 28-17 going into the second quarter.
Clarkson hit the Lakers first two shots of the second quarter from the perimeter. After a Sacre hook shot, the lead was back down to nine, and an exchange of threes from Isaiah Canaan and Jabari Brown kept the deficit the same. Black was back in the game and slammed home a missed layup from Ellington, and the Sixers lead was down to seven. Following two made foul shots by Black, Kelly hit a tough three from the corner and Brown hit an and-one in transition, and made the free throw. All of a sudden, the game was tied at 36. Aldemir hit a shot and a free throw, and Philly took a three point lead. Kelly hit another triple and converted an and-one after a great fake inside to tie the score at 42. Ish Smith drove and lobbed it to Nerlens Noel for a big dunk, but Clarkson and Kelly were fouled on consecutive possessions and kept to within one with free throws. Johnson hit a jumper and the Lakers took their first lead of the game, 47-46. Clarkson hit another shot from the perimeter between two 76er field goals, and Byron Scott called for time with just under two minutes remaining. After two sloppy possessions, Clarkson stripped Henry Sims and started a very nice passing sequence that Johnson finished with an emphatic dunk. The Lakers were up 51-50 with 16 seconds to play and Philadelphia couldn’t make anything of the last possession of the half. At the break, the Lakers were up by a point.
Johnson put the Lakers on the board to begin the second half off a nice pass from Kelly. On a turnover, Johnson chased down Noel and tied him up for a jump ball, but the 76ers retained the ball and scored. Ellington hit a jumper on the other end and the lead was up to three. On a good drive and kick by Clarkson, Ellington hit again, this time from three, to put the Lakers up 58-52. The transition game was in effect after a deflection from Johnson lead to a nice lob and big finish from the small forward, and opposing coach Brett Brown called for time. With six minutes to play, Black picked up his fifth foul and was in danger of a premature exit, Hill came in to replace him. Kelly continued his good defensive game with a big block on Ish Smith, tying his career high of three. The former Duke player showed more versatility with a great pass to a wide open Clarkson for an easy layup. A slam from Noel kept Philly within three. Brown made a couple free throws, but a three ball made by Robinson III brought the home team to with one. Brown promptly responded with a three of his own. Hill hit a tough hook shot, but Robinson hit again. A trip down the court from Kelly ended with a big one-handed jam and the Lakers lead 73-68 with under a minute left. Canaan made the Lakers pay for multiple missed layups and the lead was down to two. Brown hit a step back three with three seconds remaining and the Lakers would head to the final quarter up by five, 76-71.
Free throws on both ends started the quarter as the Lakers held on to a three point lead. A turnover led to Canaan getting two more free throws as the Sixers cut the Laker lead to a point, but another Brown step-back gave the Lakers a three-point lead. Robinson would come right back with a jumper of his own to keep the Sixers within a point. A terrible pass led to a massive dunk for Robinson over Sacre to tie the game. Turnovers on the ensuing two possessions allowed the Sixers to regain the lead at 85-81 with under eight minutes left, capping a 9-0 Sixer run. Brown again knocked down a beautiful step-back jumper to end the Sixers run, but Sims responded with a jumper of his own. A pair of free throws from Robinson pushed the Sixer lead to six and after a Hill free throw, Canaan knocked down a three to push the lead to eight. Ellington would come right back with a three of his own to keep the Lakers within five. A goaltending call on Noel brought the Lakers within three, but a huge three from Smith put the Sixers back up six. Clarkson responded with a tough layup and Brown knocked down a pair of free throws to get the Lakers within one, but Covington hit a wide open corner three to put the Sixers back ahead by five. The Lakers would come right back as Kelly hit a three and Clarkson got a layup to tie the game at 98 with under a minute left. Smith would get a tough floater to fall with 30 seconds left, but Clarkson would attack the basket and draw a foul on the other end. Clarkson would make both free throws to tie the game with 22 seconds left. Noel attacked the basket and drew a foul. He would hit both free throws giving the Lakers a chance to tie or win the game. The Sixers trapped Clarkson forcing him to call a timeout. Clarkson would draw a foul and hit both free throws to tie the game. Smith missed a shot on the other end to send the game to overtime.
OT got off to a slow start with the Sixers committing a shot clock violation and the Lakers turning the ball over on the ensuing possession. Sampson split a pair of free throws to give Philly a one-point lead. An Ellington layup put the Lakers in front by a point. A terrible sequence allowed the Lakers to get a steal and an easy layup for Brown to give them a 106-103 lead. Covington hit a nice floater to cut the Laker lead to one, but Ellington would hit a jumper on the other end and follow it up with a three to put the Lakers up by six. Noel got an easy dunk and a putback to cut the lead to two with under a minute left. Clarkson turned the ball over giving Philly a chance to tie or take the lead with 30 seconds left. Noel drew a foul, but missed both free throws. The Sixers, however grabbed the offensive rebound giving them one more chance. Noel hit a runner to tie the game, but Clarkson got wide open for a layup at the buzzer for a 113-111 win.
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