Despite not having LeBron James (knee soreness), Anthony Davis (foot rehab), and Talen Horton-Tucker (ankle) the Lakers (31-42) kept it interesting for most of Wednesday’s matchup with the visiting Philadelphia 76ers. The effort was good but unfortunately not enough, as Philly came away with the 126-121 victory.
The Purple and Gold led by three after the opening frame, producing another 30-point quarter (seventh time in the last 14) as Stanley Johnson led the charge scoring his all 13 of his total points.
L.A. would be down nine at the half but forged a 39-point third quarter to put their deficit down to two. The rest of the way, the Sixers were able to find a rhythm, knock down some clutch baskets, and keep the Lakers from any sort of comeback.
Four Sixers finished with 20-plut points, including league MVP hopeful Joel Embiid. The big man finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds for his 37th double-double of the season.
For the Lake Show, Dwight Howard scored 24 points (season-high) on 9-of-14 from the field (6-of-9 from the charity stripe) and added eight rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block.
Russell Westbrook matched Howard with 24 points of his own, knocked down 10 of his 20 shots and added nine rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. On his fifth field goal, Russ passed Elgin Baylor for 32nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (now has 23,164 points and counting).
Off the bench, Malik Monk hit 50.0 percent of his shots (10-of-20) for 23 points on top of three assists and two steals. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and grabbed seven boards in 31 minutes.
Nine games remain after tonight with only three home games left on the schedule. The Lakers will have a few days to prepare for the upcoming three-game road trip starting in New Orleans this Sunday.