- Benjamin Gerstel
Lakers hit a wall with the 76ers
Joel Embiid has been at the peak of the MVP conversation nearly all season, and rightfully so. Before last night, he had over 38 points in his last four games, scoring at a historic rate. He’s also put up at least 30 points in 14 of his last 15 games. Embiid cooled off a bit tonight, but the 76ers were still able to pull out a win .
Anthony Davis, in his second game back, paved the way in the first half for the Lakers. With LeBron out due to left knee soreness, the Lakers needed another go-to option offensively, and Anthony Davis did just that. He led all scorers with 23 points, by the first half on an efficient 10-13. The Kentucky alumni was grabbing offensive boards, dunking off of long transition passes, dunking off of nice cuts through the lane, and shooting impressive shots over the corner of the backboard. All while defending and being guarded by a player like Embiid. He looked really athletic and mobile after an MCL injury forced him to miss most of this season.
Aside from Anthony Davis and Rustsell Westbrook, L.A. really struggled in this game. They couldn’t buy a bucket from three-point land, hitting only one three point shot in the first half. Vogel’s squad shot a horrible 20% throughout the game from behind the arc. They looked one dimensional many times without King James, compared to their win Tuesday against Brooklyn when both supersars were playing.
Philadelphia, who has won 12 of their last 15 heading into tonight, has clearly been the hotter team. While Anthony Davis may have won the matchup against Joel Embiid, it was Joel’s team who came out victorious. Embiid may have put up relatively low numbers for his standards, but he still had 26-9-7. It’s no excuse, but he also did seem a bit knocked up, grabbing his wrist and knee in two separate parts of the game. However, Embiid’s teammates were able to pick up the pieces, providing a great shooting performance, leading them to a win.
Tobias Harris, had 23-5-4, Tyrese Maxey was three rebounds short of a triple double, with 12-10-7, and Danny Green and George Niang assisted with 23 points off the bench. Embiid’s impressive play in the fourth quarter, held off a run from the Lakers late. The Sixers pulled out the victory 105-87, putting a smackdown on L.A. and continuing their winning streak to 13 of the last 16.
While the Sixers pulled out the win on the court, their fans took a few losses of their own. Two fans got ejected after calling Carmelo Anthony, who is 6’7”, “boy.” That obviously didn’t sit well with Anthony, who deserves a lot more respect than that. This moment continues a notorious theme of poor fan behavior from Philly fans, such as the one who threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook, or the fans that threw a bottle on the court Game 7 against Atlanta. These fans will likely be banned from Philly, but the NBA has done little to prevent such actions.