LOS ANGELES — Jeremy Lin’s season-high 29 points led the way as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 101-87 on Sunday night.
In a matchup of two of the NBA’s most embattled teams, Los Angeles trailed 47-41 after the first half, but Lin exploded in the final two quarters of play scoring 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting with all five of his assists in the game coming in that span.
Lin was in complete control for the entire fourth quarter with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and helped his team outscore the 76ers, 27-12, including a 20-4 run to start the period. The Lakers sealed the deal on layup by Ed Davis after a pass from Lin that put them up 98-84 with 1:16 left in the game.
The Lakers in the second half were an entirely different team with Lin at the helm of the offense.
“I thought he was great on both ends,” Lakers head coach Byron Scott said. “He made great decisions. On the offensive end he got guys involved and was aggressive. Defensively he was where he was supposed to be, and did a lot of good things there as well. I thought he played great.”
It in many ways, it was Lin’s best performance in a Lakers’ uniform, one that he accredited to the help of his teammates and better health.
“It might be the best (performance I had) in a Lakers’ uniform,” Lin said. “I just feel like everything came together, Ed [Davis] did an unbelievable job protecting the rim, and in a lot of ways he was the most valuable player of the game.”
Davis put his stamp on the defensive end with 11 rebounds, four blocks, and eight points. He was a major factor in the second half with his defense protecting the rim with all of his points and six rebounds in the final two quarters.
“We just had to get stops,” Davis said. “In the first half they were hitting threes, and driving into the lane and finishing. We just needed to come out in the second half and get stops.”
Los Angeles had a favorable advantage in rebounding with a 52-39 edge. They also had a slight upper hand in points in the paint, and shot the ball well from the free throw line at 81.8 percent.
In Scott’s eyes the difference in the game was the increased intensity and aggressiveness he saw from his team in the second half.
“I just think that we came out very aggressive,” Scott said. “They played with a lot more energy in the first than we did. Basically at halftime it was a just about challenging our guys. Just saying a few words about coming out and playing hard and playing with the energy that we have been playing with and we’ll see what happens. They stepped up.”
Jordan Hill had 12 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Clarkson finished with eight points, four rebounds, and three assists. Wayne Ellington had 10 points. Jabari Brown chipped in with 10 points, and Wesley Johnson scored 10 points with six rebounds.
The 76ers held a 47-41 lead, but the Lakers quickly erased the deficit with a 10-2 to start the third quarter capped off by a layup by Wesley Johnson. It was a back-and-fourth quarter that included eight lead changes and four ties.
Philadelphia held the lead for much of the quarter, but Los Angeles kept it close behind Lin scoring nine of his 29 points in the game. However, the 76ers squeezed out a 75-74 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Hill got Los Angeles ahead 4-0 quickly after a made jumper and tear-drop layup. The Lakers remained in the lead until a 3-pointer by Robert Covington gave the 76ers a 13-12 advantage. That was quickly lived as Brown answered back with a turnaround jumper.
The teams traded the lead a couple more times before quarter’s end with Philadelphia holding a 20-18 edge heading into the second quarter despite shooting 33 percent from the field.
The 76ers took command in the second quarter with a 10-2 run to start the period that gave them a double digit lead at 30-20. Lin cut the deficit to four points with back-to-back three pointers. However, Philadelphia seemingly had an answer for the surge going back up 42-34 after a dunk by Nerlens Noel.
Thomas Robinson led the charge off the bench for the 76ers with eight of his 10 first-half points in the period, which helped give his team a 47-41 lead at the half. Hill scored eight of his first-half high 12 points in the second quarter on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, and had five rebounds.
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