(Photo By: Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers at 76ers: 3 Things to Know (2/10/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ marquee matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
1) LeBron and Rondo took over their rivalry debuts
In their first time suiting up for the Lakers against the dreaded Boston Celtics, LeBron James and Rajon Rondo left a massive impression.
James did it all, racking up 28 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds for his fourth triple-double in purple and gold. He was especially lethal from beyond the arc, hitting five 3-pointers, including one from near the half-court logo.
Meanwhile, Rondo showed no mercy for his former team. Not only did he put up 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, the Celtics icon also stepped up in the biggest moment of the game.
With time running out and the Lakers trailing by one, Rondo tracked down a loose rebound and released a shot from the left elbow. As the buzzer sounded, the ball found the net, lifting the Lakers to an unforgettable victory over their greatest rivals.
2) Lakers went wild from 3-point range
L.A. trailed Boston by as many as 18 points in the first half, but mounted a furious comeback thanks to an eruption from downtown.
The Lakers buried a franchise-record 22 3-pointers — three more than the previous mark — on a sizzling 53.7 percent clip.
LeBron, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each splashed five treys, while Rondo and Lance Stephenson added three apiece.
Playmaking was also key, as James assisted on eight of his teammates’ 3s, while Rondo dished on five. And Tyson Chandler provided several screens that opened up space for shooters.
Now, the Lakers’ 3-point arsenal is about to get even more dangerous, as Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala — both added at the trade deadline to provide shooting — will make their Lakers debuts in Philadelphia.
3) Both teams enter this matchup with reinforcements
The Sixers were even more active at the trade deadline, shipping out four players — including Muscala and 2017 first-overall pick Markelle Fultz — while bringing in five new bodies.
Philadelphia added several key rotation players — including James Ennis III, Jonathon Simmons and Boban Marjanovic — yet the key addition was Tobias Harris, who is putting up 20.8 points and 7.9 rebounds a night while shooting 43.7 percent from 3-point range (eighth-best in the league).
These additions bolster one of the league’s most talented rosters, including all-stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is a monster on the block and boards, placing among the NBA’s top 10 in scoring, rebounds and blocks. Simmons is a nightly triple-double threat, ranking fourth in assists.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler serves as one of the NBA’s top two-way talents, while J.J. Redick is an elite 3-point shooter. Toss in Harris, and Philadelphia’s starting five is among the league’s best.
Lakers: LeBron James (load management/groin) is probable. Josh Hart (left knee patellar tendinitis) is questionable. Lonzo Ball (left ankle sprain) is out. Isaac Bonga, Alex Caruso and Johnathan Williams are on G League assignment.
76ers: Joel Embiid (gastroenteritis) and Jonathon Simmons (left oblique strain) are questionable. Shake Milton (right hand injury) and Zhaire Smith (left foot surgery) are out. Haywood Highsmith and Justin Patton are on G League assignment.
Tip-Off: 12:30 p.m. PT
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Purple Statement
Location: Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania