Brandon Ingram scored a career-high 36 points but the Los Angeles Lakers still couldn’t find a lead at home versus the Philadelphia 76ers in a 121-105 blowout loss.
“We didn’t recover from our first quarter.” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said after the loss. L.A. finished with 21 turnovers in the game, including nine in the first quarter.
Philly finished the first with a 19-point lead over the Lakers and never looked back. Sixers big Joel Emiid blocked Lakers guard Rajon Rondo’s transition layup with about 8 minutes left in the first. Philadelphia pushed the ball to Simmons for an easy one-handed dunk the other way.
Not too much later, Jimmy Butler would score his own easy dunk. Next Jimmy Butler caught an alley-opp jam with 5:30 that made the lead 23-11 in the first.
“We didn’t come out with the proper fight in us.” Lakers head coach Walton added.
76ers wings Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons combined for 20 points in the first quarter. Philly scored 21 fast break points to the Lakers six in quarter one and it was too much for L.A. to overcome.
Nonetheless, Ingram fought hard throughout. He got his career high 34 points with about four minutes left in the game which would cut the Lakers to nine points. On the next L.A. possession after setting his career-high, B.I. answered a 76ers score with a fall-away jumper to push his scoring total for the night. That made the deficit nine again but it was as much as the Lakers forward would score and as close as his team would get.
“You grow in this league. You are constantly finding the balance between when do I be aggressive and when do I get my teammates going.” The Lakers head coach said about his forward adjusting to the 76ers double-teaming him.
Ingram finished the game with five of the team’s 26 assists. He was efficient from the field, shooting 16-of-20 for the night.
“I’m going in and getting to spots and I’m feeling comfortable in where I’m going to.” Ingram said about finding his confidence after the 76ers loss.
At one point, L.A. went on 15-0 run with about five minutes left in the first half.
During that time, B.I. hit a two handed jam over Corey Brewer to make the game 48-39 with five minutes left in the first which brought the crowd back onto their feet. Ingram finished the first half with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting
A Wilson Chandler three ended the Lakers’ spurt with about five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Then, Brewer came and stole the ball on the inbound. He found Chandler for another contested shot which made the game 54-40.
Other highlights from the second quarter included a JaVale McGee dunk from the Lakers that made the lead 11. McGee was big with 10 rebounds and eight points off the bench in the first half. He finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Still, it wasn’t enough after the 76ers’ first half where they led by as much as 24 points. Embiid finished the first half with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Butler and Simmons both had 11 points. Chandler stuffed the stat sheet too with nine points, two assists and four rebounds.
L.A. starters Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ivica Zubac finished with goose eggs through the first two quarters. K.C.P responded with 12 points in the second half while Zubac added seven.
The Lakers bench filled in with a spark though as they outscored the 76ers 24 to 11. Svi Mykhailiuk finished his 14 minutes in the first half with seven points, two assists and three rebounds. However, he didn’t score in the second half.
Also in the first two quarters, Rajon Rondo was a big part of the Lakers comeback in the second. He got 10 of his 11 assists in the first half.
As for the 76ers, Butler finished with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists.
“We’re hard to guard,” Butler said after his team’s fast start that lead to a win. “We’re hard to beat when we play like that.”
Butler’s teammate Simmons added 19 points six assists and eight rebounds in the contest.
However, Embiid did head to the locker room early after registering 28 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Under the ten minute mark in the fourth quarter, Joel Embiid missed an alley-opp dunk and fell to the floor. The Sixers big cringed and grabbed his back as he hobbled to mid court.
Next, the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers, technically on the road, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. PST. Considering the Lakers started the night 1.5 games behind the Clippers for the 8th seed in the West, the Lake Show will need to find a way to defeat their Staples Center roommates. Ingram would finish the second quarter with a transition layup to cut the Lakers deficit to 9.
Luckily, James can make his return versus the Clippers. The Lakers All-Star has missed 17 games and L.A. desperately needs him to stay afloat in the playoffs.