It’s an inter-conference tilt in the City of Brotherly Love. The Los Angeles Lakers are on the road as they kick off a road trip with a contest against the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night. Los Angeles lost their fifth straight game as they were clubbed 118-95 at home by the Rockets Sunday night. Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in their last six games as they fell 115-101 at home to the Suns Monday night. The Lakers hold a 144-134 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the 76ers have taken two straight meetings, including a 115-109 win on the road in the first meeting this season on November 15.
Los Angeles Lakers Look to Avoid Sixth Straight Loss
Los Angeles lost their fifth straight as they proved not to be a competitive matchup against the Rockets. The Lakers have dropped 10 of their last 13 and fell to 8-15 on the season. Los Angeles was tied after one quarter but was outscored 34-19 in the second quarter and never recovered. The Lakers shot 38.1 percent from the field and went nine of 28 from three point range. Los Angeles turned the ball over 20 times and allowed the Rockets to shoot 50 percent from the floor, including 14 of 37 from three point range. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 22 points and 12 boards off the bench in the loss.
The Lakers are 14th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 105.8 points per game. Los Angeles is 4th in rebounding with 46.4 per contest and 14th in assists with 22.7 per game. The Lakers stand 26th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 109.3 points per night. Brook Lopez is manning the middle in his first year with the team, contributing 13.3 points plus 4.5 rebounds per contest. Brandon Ingram averages 16 points per game while Jordan Clarkson chips in 14.8 points a night. Lonzo Ball adds 8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and seven assists per game, Larry Nance Jr. averages 9.4 points plus 7.2 boards but just recently returned after surgery for a broken thumb while Kyle Kuzma leads the team with 16.8 points plus 6.1 rebounds a contest. Julius Randle, Luol Deng, Corey Brewer and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (13.7 points) are going to be key for coach Luke Walton’s group. The Lakers are tied for 13th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.5 percent as a team. Los Angeles is tied for 27th in the league with 8.3 triples per game while standing 30th in three point shooting at 31.5 percent from downtown.
Philadelphia 76ers Hope to Sweep Season Series
Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in their last six games as they put together a disappointing showing against a Suns team that was road weary. The 76ers look to get back in the win column here and sweep the season set from the Lakers. Philadelphia was tied after the first quarter before getting outscored 32-19 in the second: the 76ers drew no closer than five the rest of the way. Philadelphia shot 42.9 percent from the floor and went seven of 30 from three point range in the contest. The 76ers were led by JJ Redick, who had 25 points, in the loss.
The 76ers are above average on the offensive end of the floor. The team is 8th in the league in scoring offense with 108.2 points per game. Philadelphia is 1st in rebounding with 49.3 boards a night and 3rd with 25.5 assists per contest. The 76ers are below average on the defensive end, ranking 23rd by allowing 108.1 points a game. Jerryd Bayless is putting up 9.5 points per game while Ben Simmons averages 18 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists plus 2.32 steals per contest. Robert Covington adds 15 points per night, Joel Embiid contributes a team leading 23 points plus 11.3 rebounds and 1.68 blocks per contest while JJ Redick chips in 16 points a game. T.J. McConnell, Dario Saric (11.5 points), Amir Johnson and #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz are going to be looked at to contribute. Fultz is expected to miss another two to three weeks as he rehabs a shoulder injury. The 76ers are tied for 13th in the league shooting the ball as they hit 45.5 percent from the floor. Philadelphia is tied for 15th in threes per game with 10.6 triples a night and tied for 20th in three point shooting as they hit 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points
- Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 76ers are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 2 days rest
The Lakers are in a freefall and one has to wonder if Ball’s head will be in the game or more focused on the headlines that his father pulled his younger brother, LiAngelo, out of UCLA. The second overall pick has struggled adjusting to the NBA level at this point in time and has looked lost at times. Simmons has run circles around him at this point in time and there’s little reason to like Los Angeles’s chances here. Look for the 76ers to prevail at home and sweep the season set.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -7
The 76ers have been up and down of late with alternating wins and losses in their last six. Part of that comes with youth as inconsistency and inexperience can crop up at the most inopportune times. One thing that Philadelphia has in spades is talent: they just have to be more consistent and they’ll be a force in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles is still trying to figure out which pieces are going to be long term cornerstones and who may be jettisoned in an effort to get the pieces necessary to bring those parts into the organization. There is plenty of youth in the City of Angels but whether it’s NBA championship caliber remains to be seen.
The under is 6-0 in the Lakers’ last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 4-1 in their last five against Eastern Conference foes and 4-1 in their last five after a double digit straight up loss. Philadelphia has seen the under go 5-1 in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 in their last 6 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points, 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and 4-1 in their last five overall. This one stays under the total as the Lakers sputter offensively.