Sixers-Lakers observations: Another stinging home loss

Sixers-Lakers observations: Another stinging home loss


The Sixers’ struggles against sub.-500 teams continued as they dropped their second straight game Thursday against the Lakers, 107-104.

Instead of bouncing back from Monday’s loss to the Suns, the Sixers were forced to scramble back from a deficit all night long. 

They were able to tie the game on several occasions in the final minute, but Brandon Ingram’s three-pointer with 0.8 remaining proved to be the difference. Richaun Holmes missed a long three off the inbounds pass from Ben Simmons.

• The Sixers would not have been in that last-second situation if they had played stronger from the start. They trailed by 13 points in the first quarter, a time when they should have been making a statement on their home court.

• The Sixers did make an impressive run in the fourth to tie the game after falling behind by 15. They had an opportunity to steal the game after Lonzo Ball missed a three with 29 seconds to go. However, with the game knotted at 104-104, Joel Embiid missed a layup with 12 seconds on the clock, Ball grabbed the rebound and found Ingram for the clinching trey.

• Holmes scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and sparked a high-energy push, but the Lakers never allowed the Sixers to surge in front. The backup big played alongside Embiid to give the Sixers the frontcourt punch they needed. Embiid spaced the floor (2 of 3 from three-point range) while Holmes raced the floor to get up for dunks and battle into and-one situations. This matchup was a fit for Holmes, who plays best in uptempo games.

• Embiid expected to be double-teamed. He still found way to be effective, leading all players with 33 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five blocks (see highlights).

• Simmons recorded his third triple-double: 12 points, 13 boards and a massive 15 assists (see highlights). The last rookie to post three triple-doubles was Lamar Odom in the 1999-00 season.

• Fans booed Ball every time he touched the ball. The No. 2 pick scored 10 points (5 for 11 from the field), with eight rebounds, eight assists and four blocks. 

• The Sixers’ bench was scoreless aside from Holmes. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson combined for 32 points off the Lakers’ bench while Ingram (21 points) led the team. 

• Taking care of home game is a must-do for the Sixers in their playoff hunt. Their next three games are on the road: a back-to-back set in Cleveland and New Orleans followed by a game Tuesday in Minnesota. Their schedule doesn't get easier when they come back to host the Thunder next Friday night. 

• Injury/inactive update: Justin Anderson (left leg), Markelle Fultz (right shoulder) and Dario Saric (eye) were out for the Sixers. 

• There was a loud rise from one particular section of the crowd in the fourth quarter. What was going on? After scanning the stands … it was LaVar Ball standing up and waving his hands at booing Sixers fans.

Allen Iverson gives Sixers all he has from crowd in comeback

Allen Iverson gives Sixers all he has from crowd in comeback


Allen Iverson intently watched the Sixers pull out a 120-116 win over the Nets Friday standing on the court of the Wells Fargo Center (see observations)

After the buzzer sounded, he gave an impromptu postgame press conference as he walked through the room where Brett Brown addresses the media. 

“I’m very familiar with this right here,” Iverson said, laying his hand on the podium. 

When the topic of his desire to get in the game and still play came up, the 42-year-old Hall of Famer replied, “I always want to help, but I’m too old to help. I can’t help no more … I can’t play no more. “The Answer” has gone to heaven and Allen Iverson is still here.” 

Iverson was very much a part of the game from the sidelines. He stood during the final stretch in the fourth quarter, enthusiastically reacted to calls, and high-fived fans as the Sixers closed out the victory in the final seconds. 

“It’s awesome,” Ben Simmons said. “He wants us to win. He’s behind us. He can obviously see we have a lot of potential, which is awesome coming from him.” 

Iverson made a request about the Sixers, who at 38-30 are chasing a return to the playoffs and possibly home-court advantage. 

“Treat my ‘little dudes,’” Iverson said with air quotes, referencing how he described the players in an interview last week, “treat them right and give them a chance.”

The Sixers noticed Iverson's encouragement. 

“I saw him, I saw the support,” Joel Embiid said. “I like it. Like he said, we are his little dudes. I appreciate the support.” 

Goran Dragic helps Heat snap road losing streak

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Goran Dragic helps Heat snap road losing streak

LOS ANGELES — Goran Dragic scored 30 points, including a go-ahead jumper in the final seconds, and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 92-91 on Friday night.

Miami trailed 91-90 after Kyle Kuzma made a 3-pointer for Los Angeles with 1:23 left. But Dragic got the lead back for the Heat with about 15 seconds remaining and Isaiah Thomas missed a 10-foot fallaway jumper at the buzzer for the Lakers.

Kelly Olynyk scored 17 points for Miami. James Johnson had 12 points, and Bam Adebayo added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The road win left the Heat 15 1/2 games back in the Eastern Conference, in a virtual tie with Milwaukee for seventh. Miami (37-33) has played two more games than the Bucks (see full recap).

DeRozan lifts Raptors to 11th straight win
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan made the game-winning basket in overtime and the Toronto Raptors rallied to match the longest winning streak in franchise history, extending their season-best run to 11 by beating the Dallas Mavericks 122-115 on Friday night.

DeRozan scored 29 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors won for the 18th time in 19 games. Kyle Lowry got the night off to rest as the Raptors played the second game of the back-to-back.

Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet each scored 14 points, helping Toronto improved to an NBA-best 29-5 at home.

Dallas had won three of four. Harrison Barnes scored 27 points for the Mavericks, Dennis Smith Jr. had 19 and J.J. Barea 18 (see full recap).

Rozier, Celtics hold off Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. — Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe each scored 17 points, helping the Boston Celtics beat the Orlando Magic 92-83 on Friday night.

Boston stopped a two-game losing streak despite shooting just 37.8 percent from the field. Al Horford had 15 points for the Celtics, and Abdel Nader finished with 11.

Orlando lost for the sixth time in seven games. Reserve Shelvin Mack scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Jonathon Simmons and D.J. Augustin had 13 apiece (see full recap).

Shorthanded Warriors fall at home to Kings
OAKLAND, Calif. — Buddy Hield made three free throws over the final 27.5 seconds, Willie Cauley-Stein had a late dunk and the Sacramento Kings won for the second time this season on Golden State's home floor, beating a Warriors team missing its top three scorers 98-93 on Friday night.

Hield finished with 22 points off the bench. He also had seven assists and seven rebounds.

Quinn Cook scored a career-high 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting for Golden State, making his initial seven shots and also hitting a career-best five 3-pointers after Kevin Durant was lost to a broken rib in a discouraging pregame announcement for the defending champions.

Draymond Green returned from a one-game injury absence to produce 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocked shots (see full recap).