76ers handle the Lebron-less Lakers with ease, win 105-87 in South Philly
The Philadelphia 76ers easily handled the Los Angeles Lakers last night in South Philadelphia by a final score of 105-87. Lebron James missed the game with left knee soreness, and the Sixers won without a 40+ performance from Joel Embiid.
By the end of first quarter, the Sixers raced to a 10 point lead over the Lakers. They led by six at halftime before really pulling away in the third quarter, out scoring the lakers 34-20 in that frame. On the night, we saw a complete team effort from the Sixers, unlike what we have grown accustomed to over the past month with Joel Embiid flat out dominating opponents by himself.
Joel Embiid had one of his worst games since Christmas. Luckily for the Philadelphia 76ers, when Embiid has a bad game this season, he still has a better night than the majority of players in the NBA. Embiid finished with 26 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, a steal, and two blocks. He was a +21 on the court, but only managed to shoot 9-for-20 from the floor, 0-for-5 from three point range, and 8-for-13 from the charity stripe.
Even with an “off-night”, Embiid led the Sixers in scoring and moved past Allen Iverson for the most consecutive games in 76ers’ franchise history scoring 25+ points, and passed Moses Malone on the Sixers all-time scoring list, now in 16th place.
Anthony Davis proved to be a good challenge for Joel Embiid throughout last night’s game. Embiid has also played in 20 straight games which is his longest stretch since 2017-18, and has been nothing short of amazing in the month of January.
Any way you look at it, it was hard to even fathom Embiid continuing to average 42.5 points per game like he did over his last four contests. He still got the job done and flirted with a triple-double in the fourth quarter of a blowout win. No complaints here.
Tobias Harris has been fantastic lately and last night, put up another solid performance for the second game in a row. Harris scored 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor. He was 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and his continued improvement on making quick and decisive decisions was on full display yet again against the Lakers.
After combining for 75 points earlier in the week, Embiid and Harris kept things moving against the Lakers, combining for 49 points in the win. The third piece of the puzzle last night was none other than Tyrese Maxey.
Tyrese Maxey showed out once again, finishing the night with 14 points and even more impressively, 10 assists and only two turnovers. After the game, Embiid joked with the media that he congratulated Maxey on his double-double and “finally being a point guard.”
It has been a struggle from the field recently for Maxey, only making 5-of-14 shots from the field, but as Embiid noted after the game, the development of Maxey and what he has been doing on the court, leading the team from the point position, often won’t show in the box score but that doesn’t mean that he’s not growing as a player and a teammate.
Matisse Thybulle is honestly incredible to watch on a basketball court. We all know his offense leaves something to be desired but defensively, he’s one of the most elite players in the NBA. He was also the award winner of my “Sixers Yam of the Night” for those who were asking.
There were countless plays on the defensive end of the court last night that left you awe. Thybulle finished the night with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor. He added two rebounds, two assists, four steals, and a block to the box score, including this steal and dish which is best described by a tweet.
The Philadelphia 76ers have won 13 out of their last 16 games and when speaking of the Lakers, they have won four straight against Los Angeles and 6-of-7 overall. With the win last night, they jumped over the Milwaukee Bucks in the standings and now sit in fifth place with a 29-19 record, two games out of the first seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers will continue their home stand tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings, a team they have been linked to on countless occasions ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline on February 10th.
Mandatory Credit: NBA.com