The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Philadelphia 76ers to finish their Grammy road trip with LeBron James slated to pass Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
While the Lakers winning this game against an Eastern Conference powerhouse is obviously top priority, all eyes will be on James as he is just 18 points away from passing Bryant for No. 3 all time on the scoring list. James is averaging 25.2 points per game this season, so putting together 18 really shouldn’t be difficult — unless he prefers to move into third while in Los Angeles.
James passing Bryant has been talked about for a long while, mostly due to the latter’s competitive nature and Lakers fans loyalty to him. However, it doesn’t seem like there will be any drama as Bryant himself said he’s excited for James to pass him while Lakers fans will cheer on anyone making history if they’re wearing the purple and gold.
Moving to the actual game itself, the Lakers should be looking to take advantage of an injured 76ers team. They continue to be without Joel Embiid (who will be re-evaluated soon after a dislocated finger) and now will be without Josh Richardson (hamstring).
The Lakers listed Anthony Davis as questionable for this game due to his tailbone injury, but he will play. However, JaVale McGee will miss his second consecutive game.
The 76ers have one of the best homecourt advantages in the league with a home record of 20-2 so far this season. They also have one of the league’s stingiest defenses, currently ranking fourth in the NBA in defensive rating. This is led by Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle, who leads all rookies in steals.
Where the Lakers have the advantage is on defense as the 76ers offense can be considered mediocre at best, ranking No. 20 in the NBA. The team’s fifth-ranked defense should be able to swarm the 76ers, especially with Embiid and Richardson out.
Getting a win in Philadelphia would be big for a Lakers team trying to maintain road dominance as their 20-4 road record is currently the NBA’s best. In addition to that, there will be a chance to witness history with James passing Bryant, making this primetime game must-watch TV.
Los Angeles Lakers (36-9) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (29-17)
5:30 P.M. PT, Jan. 25, 2020
Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: ABC, Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, Jared Dudley
Projected 76ers Starting Lineup:
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Matisse Thybulle
SF: Furkan Korkmaz
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Al Horford
Key Reserves: Shake Milton, Raul Neto, Mike Scott, Norvel Pelle