Despite fighting valiantly, the Los Angeles Lakers fell 109-115 to the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night. Although three Lakers players scored 20 points or higher, Eastern Conference titan Joel Embiid could not be stopped, shooting 14-20 from the field and hitting two of his three attempts from behind the arc.
Forward Brandon Ingram had a marquee night, scoring a career high of 26 points and 11 rebounds. Embiid stole the show, pacing all players with 46 points and 15 points.
“It’s always that slippery slope of playing with pace and movement and then realizing you have Joel Embiid,” said Sixers head coach Brett Brown. “We realized that we had Joel Embiid and the stat line that he produced was just dominant.”
The Lakers outrebounded the Sixers, making 22 offensive rebounds to Philadelphia’s eight. Los Angeles also had less turnovers. Guard Jordan Clarkson came off the bench with 20 points and guard Kyle Kuzma scored a new career high of 24 points.
“I just made my shots this time, it’s no difference,” Kuzma said. “In other games, I struggled a little bit making shots.”
Philadelphia reached a 20-7 run in the first five minutes of the game with Embiid and forward Dario Saric leading the charge. The Lakers went cold behind the arc, scoring only one of nine attempts in the first quarter and 3-27 in the entire game. Yet Lakers reserves Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Andrew Bogut willed the offense.
Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope blocked a layup by Sixers guard T.J. McConnell and ran back to make a three-pointer, making the score 26-29 in favor of the 76ers. Los Angeles came within three points by the end of the first quarter, Ingram led all scorers with 11 points at that point.
After the Lakers achieved a lead, the 76ers rallied back, creating an 11-point deficit. International stand outs Embiid and guard Ben Simmons spearheaded the offense. Former Clippers player JJ Redick also aided in Philadelphia’s governance. Clarkson rebutted the 76ers’ efforts by scoring nine points in the second period.
“[Clarkson] is out there competing and making good plays and scoring for us,” said Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
A technical foul was given to Clarkson and Sixers bench member Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Ingram continued to battle for L.A. reaching 15 points by the half, however Embiid had 18 points at that time. Bogut mentioned how Embiid earned seven assists in the contest
“He was a handful,” Bogut said about Embiid. “[I] didn’t really think he was that good a passer as he was tonight, he found the open man.”
The 76ers had a response to every Lakers surge, Embiid continued to be a fierce competitor. Luwawu-Cabarrot also gave the Lakers a challenge. With the help of Ingram, Clarkson and Kuzma, the Lakers knocked down their deficit in the third, tying the score four times.
Coming into the fourth quarter the Lakers were ahead 84-83. Embiid scored a three-pointer and reached the 32-point mark, but the Lakers still rallied on the offensive end. Clarkson scored seven points and made one steal in the fourth. Kuzma tied the score at 97 while reaching 20 points. However, the Lakers could not defend Embiid’s consistent shot. As the regulated minutes wind down, Kuzma hit a three pointer, bringing the Lakers within one point, but Philly rallied with an eight-point run.
The Lakers play the Phoenix Suns on Friday, November 17 in the Staples Center at 7:30 pm.