The Philadelphia 76ers won the first half of their Staples Center doubleheader and will aim to make it a sweep when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Two days after a 21-point loss at Golden State, the 76ers squeaked past the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Monday, riding a 32-point, 16-rebound effort from Joel Embiid.
Ben Simmons chipped in 22 points and 12 rebounds as the youngsters continued to impress for Philadelphia. “They’re two of the best players in the league already,” Sixers guard JJ Redick told reporters. “They’re both MVP-caliber players. They’re fantastic and we’re all along for the ride.” The Lakers have some quality young talent as well and managed to snap a three-game slide with a 100-93 victory at Phoenix on Monday to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip. The teams split a pair of meetings last season, with the road team winning each time.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Philadelphia
ABOUT THE 76ERS (7-6): Embiid and Simmons get the headlines as Philadelphia’s “process” comes to fruition, but Robert Covington deserves plenty of credit for taking his game to new heights this season. The fifth-year pro hit 5-of-8 3-pointers and all four of his shots inside the arc while scoring a career-high 31 points in the win over the Clippers. Covington entered Tuesday tied for fifth in the NBA in 3-point percentage (50.0) and ranked third in triples per game (3.7).
ABOUT THE LAKERS (6-8): The starters combined for 54 points while shooting 36.4 percent in the win at Phoenix while the bench took over, led by Jordan Clarkson’s 25 points. “Just seems more focused and serious about what we’re doing,” coach Luke Walton told the Los Angeles Times of Clarkson, who is shooting 51.2 percent from the field and averaging a team-high 15.5 points in only 21.4 minutes. “Just his overall approach each day. Asking questions to the way he’s been practicing. The effort he’s been giving on defense for the most part is a huge step up from last year. Just his overall presence around the court.” Veteran Corey Brewer provided a rare boost off the bench with 13 points after being held to five or fewer in each of his first 13 games.
1. Lakers F Brandon Ingram is averaging eight points - nearly six below his season average - on 7-of-27 shooting over a three-game span.
2. Philadelphia entered Tuesday fifth in the NBA from long distance (38.8 percent), while Los Angeles was last (30.2).
3. Sixers PG Jerryd Bayless (wrist) missed four straight games and is doubtful for this one.
PREVIEW: Lakers 112, 76ers 110