Over the last four games, the Philadelphia 76ers picked up three wins. Their last matchup didn't create an ideal outcome as they suffered a beatdown loss to the Detroit Pistons on the road this past Monday night.
On Wednesday, the Sixers had a shot at redemption as their toughest opponent to date traveled to South Philly. The Los Angeles Lakers came to The City of Brotherly Love as the Western Conference's top team.
The Sixers, on the other hand, possessed the best record in the Eastern Conference heading into the primetime matchup. Although their last matchup without Joel Embiid left a bad taste in their mouth, Philly looked forward to getting their MVP candidate back in the mix to take on LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday.
After starting flat in their last outing on Monday night, the Sixers got off to a hot first-quarter start on Wednesday against the Lakers. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons each appeared on the court for the first ten minutes.
Simmons drained three of his three shots for six points. Meanwhile, Embiid looked nearly unstoppable as he totaled for 13 points by knocking down four shots from the field and going five-for-six from the stripe.
Lakers star LeBron James led his team in scoring early as he accounted for 11 points. While the Anthony Davis, LeBron James duo kept the Lakers in it in the first quarter as they combined for 18 points, the 76ers fired off and picked up a double-digit lead as they went into the second quarter up 34-24.
It didn't take long before the Lakers woke up and developed some momentum of their own. In a little under ten minutes of action, LeBron James picked up another 11 points while Anthony Davis complemented him with seven points of his own.
Meanwhile, Embiid and the Sixers cooled down a bit. The starting lineup accounted for just 15 points altogether with the bench only putting up six points. Before heading into halftime, the Lakers outscored the 76ers by six points bringing the double-digit lead down to four points before the intermission.
Coming out of the half, the Sixers formed a hot streak as they went on an immediate 8-0 run to help increase their lead. Sixers veterans Embiid and Tobias Harris controlled the offense, making it difficult for the Lakers to try and get ahead.
Embiid, who typically gets some time off in the third quarter, played a majority of the minutes as he checked in for 11 minutes. During that time, Embiid collected seven points and kept on pushing the lead despite being in a lot of pain due to a nasty spill he took attempting a dunk, which led to a flagrant one foul on LeBron.
Similar to Embiid, Harris took on a long shift in the third quarter as he remained on the floor for all 12 minutes. He shot four-for-five from the field and accounted for nine points. After going toe-to-toe in the third quarter, the Sixers managed to outscore the Lakers by three points giving themselves the opportunity to head into the fourth quarter up 81-74.
At first, the Sixers looked like they were ready to run away with the game. But as expected, the Lakers wouldn't make it easy. Young Lakers guard Dennis Schroder led Los Angeles in scoring during the final quarter as he put up eight points in five minutes. Meanwhile, Davis and LeBron combined for 11 points, helping the Lakers outscore the Sixers 32-26, and taking a lead in the final minute of the game.
Although the Sixers kept it close, it seemed for a second they might actually fail to prevent Los Angeles from coming back. Then Tobias Harris happened. With less than 12 seconds left, the 76ers had possession of the ball. After moving the ball around looking for an opportunity, Harris was able to get up a quick jump shot with three seconds left and put the nail in the coffin for the Lakers, allowing the Sixers to pick up a 107-106 win.