After a disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the court on Sunday night looking to get back on track when they hosted the Philadelphia 76ers.
Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV remained out for L.A., which proved to be too much to overcome Joel Embiid and the 76ers in a 113-112 loss.
The stars got off to a hot start as LeBron James had eight quick points while Embiid and James Harden had five points each to tie the game at 10.
James would eventually need some help though and he got just that from Russell Westbrook as he had four straight points after coming off the bench.
LeBron continued to stay in attack mode, wasting no time reaching the 38,000-point milestone for his career. He had 16 points in the first quarter alone and after Wenyen Gabriel beat the buzzer to end the quarter, the Lakers trailed 33-32.
The Lakers started to lock in defensively to begin the second as they forced a couple of turnovers, leading to easy buckets for James and Troy Brown Jr. After Brown completed a three-point play on Embiid, L.A. regained the lead.
But much like James in the first quarter, Embiid got going by scoring a variety of ways for his team. Harden and Tyrese Maxey also drilled 3s to open up a five-point lead for Philly.
Westbrook and James energized the crowd to end the second quarter with the former finding the latter for an alley-oop and then a layup. Westbrook then made a pair of free throws to give the Lakers a 58-57 lead going into the halftime locker room after closing the quarter on a 9-0 run.
It was the 76ers that started the second half on a run as they scored six straight points, forcing Darvin Ham to use a timeout just two minutes into the quarter. Brown answered out of the timeout with a much-needed 3 for L.A. though.
The Lakers were able to tie things at 71 midway through the third when Westbrook stole the ball from Embiid and then James found Thomas Bryant for a dunk in transition. Gabriel then went right at Embiid for a bucket and then Westbrook completed a four-point play to give L.A. the lead once again.
Embiid responded by leading a 76ers run to close the quarter though, giving them an 86-83 lead going into the fourth.
Dennis Schroder was quiet for the first three quarters although he came alive in the fourth with five straight points to create another lead change in the Lakers’ favor. With Embiid on the bench, Harden and Tobias Harris carried the load though and the game was tied going into the final six minutes.
James and Westbrook both hit midrange jumpers to give the Lakers a slim lead with three minutes to play, and then Schroder took a big charge on Harden.
Philadelphia responded right away though as Georges Niang drilled a corner 3 and then the Lakers had a turnover. Embiid hit a midrange jumper, but Brown hit a massive 3 to keep the Lakers within one in the final minute. Unfortunately though, Westbrook missed at the buzzer and the Lakers would go on to lose.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!