By Kent O’Jon
FINAL – Philadelphia 76ers 105 Los Angeles Lakers 87
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Thursday night. Tobias Harris added 23 points, and Tyrese Maxey recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. Los Angeles was led by Anthony Davis’ 31 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals. Russell Westbrook added 20 points. The 76ers improved to 29-19 while the Lakers dropped to 24-25.
LeBron James was a late game scratch with knee soreness. The 76ers were without Seth Curry (ankle) and Shake Milton (back.) I watched the game. I would say that turnovers and 3-point shooting (or lack of) were the deciding factors in the game. The Lakers shot 6-29 for only 20.7%. The Sixers shot 13-35 for 37.1%. Russell Westbrook committed 6 turnovers for the Lakers. Matisse Thrybulle recorded 4 steals and 1 block in the Sixers win.
Joel Embiid was interviewed after the game by Charles Barkley and the other anchors at TNT. Embiid stated that he wished that he would have played better and that he had an “off night.”
I would say that the Sixers are trending in the right direction as they are only 2 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. However, for the Sixers to compete for a title, they will need to complete a trade to replace guard Ben Simmons who refuses to play for the Sixers after heavy criticism for his poor play last season against the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers on the other hand are struggling. Russell Westbrook is not performing to the level that he is accustomed to. Anthony Davis has missed 19 games this season due to injury. The Lakers will need to make a trade for a playmaker in order to compete with the higher tier teams in the Western Conference (Phoenix, Utah, Memphis.)