After a 103-105 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers were back at home to face the Philadelphia 76ers. With Pau Gasol out of the lineup again due to an upper-respiratory infection, the Lakers looked to earn their 14th win of the season and avoid a five game losing streak.
The Lakers came out very active early in the first quarter. As a team that was looking to get their swagger back, this team showed great continuity on the offensive end, and excellent effort on the defensive end. Perhaps playing in front of a home crowd was what the Lakers needed, as they jumped out to 12-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game.
D’Antoni brought Ryan Kelly and Chris Kaman off the bench early, possibly as an effort to keep the front court depth fresh with Gasol out tonight.
The Sixers went to a zone defense in the latter half of the quarter and the neutralized the amazing start that the Lakers had. After jumping out to lead as high as 10 points, the lead by only two at the quarter’s end.
Score going into the 2nd quarter: Lakers lead 22-20
The second unit got off to a sluggish start, and quickly surrendered the Lakers lead that they had at the end of the first quarter. The Sixers defense forced the Lakers to turn the ball over at a very high clip, as they committed 11 turnovers through 14 minutes of gameplay. As a result, the Lakers fell behind 33-24 with a little under eight minutes to go in the quarter.
To make matters worse, the Lakers lost Xavier Henry for the night after he suffered a strained right knee.
Turnovers ailed the Lakers for almost the entirety of this quarter, and the Sixers made it their duty to capitalize. However despite some poor play, the Lakers managed to tie the game up going into half-time.
Score at half-time: Lakers tied with the Sixers 52-52
The Lakers collected themselves, and came out with some effective play on the offensive end, but they failed to get stops. Because of that, they traded baskets with the Sixers for the a bulk of the third period. Towards the latter half of the third, turnovers began to haunt the Lakers again, as the Sixers went on 16-2 run to pull away. This Sixers outplayed the Lakers for the full length of the third as they opened up a commanding nine point lead going in the the fourth.
Score at the end of third quarter: Lakers trailed the Sixers 86-77
Somehow, a unit of Kendall Marshall, Nick Young, Ryan Kelly, Shawne Williams, and Robert Sacre got the Lakers back into this game. They fought on the defensive end, and knocked down open shots. Their efforts would ultimately allow the Lakers to take a one point lead with seven minutes remaining in this ball game.
The Sixers wouldn’t die down though, as they found a way to weather the storm and regain the lead with under four minutes to play. Evan Turner and Thaddeous Young closed the game out for the Sixers, and the Lakers dropped their fifth game in a row.
Final score: Lakers lose 111-104
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