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.
Holmes battled through that possession with 15 Lakers on him.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) December 8, 2017
• 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.