The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to avenge their worst loss of the season as they host Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers in Los Angeles. The loss came on the Lakers’ first stop on the Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour, where the 76ers avoided the worst start in NBA history by beating the Lakers for their first win of the season.
Kobe Bryant will sit out of tonight’s game due to a sore right shoulder after he helped lead the Lakers to victory in Boston on Wednesday night. Kobe’s shoulder was clearly bothering him in the win as he was trying to shake it loose throughout the second half of the game. Without Kobe, rookie Anthony Brown would get the start.
The Sixers struggled early and turned the ball over three times in just three minutes and Larry Nance Jr. rose up for a dunk to put the Lakers up 4-1. Both the Lakers and the Sixers have the two lowest field goal percentage in the league and they both struggled early from the field, but the Lakers led 11-8 with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter. The Sixers answered with a 9-0 run and the Lakers went scoreless for nearly three minutes until Jordan Clarkson finished with an aggressive drive plus the foul to tie the game at 14 apiece. Clarkson continued to play aggressively and score his tenth point of the quarter when Brandon Bass found him diving down the lane. Julius Randle tied the game at the free throw line and the game was tied at the end of the first quarter 21-21.
The Lakers started the quarter with a pair of turnovers and the Sixers started with a pair of buckets, giving them a 25-21 lead. After a Sixer turnover Lou Williams found Julius Randle in transition and Randle finished strong at the rim to cut their deficit to two points. Jahlil Okafor looked to impress in his Los Angeles debut, as he scored six straight points in the paint against Brandon Bass. Midway through the second quarter, Nick Young made the Lakers’ first three-pointer of the game and the Lakers trailed 32-30. Sixers’ guard T.J. McDonnell took control in the second quarter and scored 10 points without missing a field goal, giving the Sixers a 39-34 lead with 2:20 left in the half. Clarkson ended the half strong scoring the Lakers last four points, but at the end of the first half the Lakers trailed 41-40.
The Lakers and Sixers exchanged baskets to begin the second half and Lou Williams put the Lakers on top 48-47 with 8:16 left in the third. Larry Nance Jr. was upset after a no-call on a loose ball and then he dunked on the other end of the floor, giving the Lakers the 53-51 with 6:04 to go in the rest of the third. Jordan Clarkson drove down the lane and found Anthony Brown open for three with a short shot clock and the Lakers went on a run to put them up 60-54 with 2:55 remaining in the quarter. Julius Randle checked into the game and drove past his defender for a huge dunk. After Randle’s strong finish at the rim, the Sixers made a push to keep the game competitive and the Lakers led 62-60 at the end of the third quarter.
Julius Randle established his dominance in transition and finished with a strong dunk, and the Lakers started the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run and led by eight, forcing the Sixers to call an early timeout. The Sixers game out of the timeout and tried to keep the game competitive and Nik Stauskas drove by Russell for the dunk, and the Lakers only led by three with 8:10 remaining in the game. Russell showed us a glimpse of showtime with an over the head touch pass to Randle for the slam on the fast break and the Lakers led 78-70 with 7:55 left in the game. Lou Williams hit a potential dagger with five minutes left in the game when he hit a three to put the Lakers up by 14. Both teams traded baskets as the Lakers maintained a 14 point lead, 90-76 with under two minutes remaining. The Lakers made a couple of bad plays to allow the Sixers to bring it within eight points, but with under a minute left it was too little, too late. The Lakers would get their second straight win, beating the Sixers 93-84.