Embiid’s career night leads 76ers over Lakers
LOS ANGELES — If the Philadelphia 76ers charter jet needed extra fuel on its flight back to Pennsylvania, Joel Embiid likely has some left over following a dominant and historical career performance.
Embiid recorded career highs with 46 points, seven blocks and seven assists, and Ben Simmons added 18 points and 10 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 115-109 on Wednesday night.
Embiid became the first player in NBA history with at least 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks and seven assists in a game, and scored the most by a 76ers player since Allen Iverson scored 45 against the Heat in 2006. He established the career high in points on 14-for-20 shooting from the field and was 16 for 19 from the foul line.
Philadelphia (8-6) won its second straight and concluded a five-game road trip 3-2. Robert Covington scored 12 points and J.J. Redick added 11. The 76ers shot 48.8 percent, but were only 7 of 32 from 3-point range.
Los Angeles (6-9) lost for the fourth time in five contests. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma established career-high with 26 and 24 points, respectively. Jordan Clarkson added 20 points. The Lakers shot 38.5 percent and an eye-popping 3 for 27 from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said the decision of choosing to run an up-tempo offense versus pounding the ball inside was obvious.
“Joel was dominant,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “It is a matter of increasing confidence for him. He missed September training camp with an injury and you realize you have Joel Embiid and the stat line was obvious.”
Embiid said his approach was the same as in the previous Philadelphia win in the same building against the Clippers on Monday, when he posted 32 points.
“I just wanted to come out and establish my game down low,” Embiid said. “With each game my conditioning is getting better. Tonight was not just about me but the whole team but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Los Angeles prized rookie Lonzo Ball struggled throughout the first three quarters, shooting 1 for 9 from the field including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He was benched for the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game by coach Luke Walton.
The Lakers perimeter shooting woes were a major factor in the loss and Walton did not single out Ball for the deficiency.
“We simply aren’t a good 3-point shooting team right now, obviously, “ Walton said. “I asked each player at shootaround today to shoot more 3-point shots before and after practice. I just consider it an off night for Lonzo.”
Ball was disappointed that one facet of his game landed him on the bench in crunch time in back-to-back games
“I can’t let shooting affect my overall play,” Ball said. “I expect better from myself whether the ball is falling or not for me.”
Embiid scored 19 points in the final quarter including a layup with 4:04 remaining to give Philadelphia the lead for good at 102-101 to start a 13-8 run to close it out.
Philadelphia retook the lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter at 85-84 on a basket by Embiid and held the lead until 5:42 remaining when Kuzma’s basket tied the game at 97.
Los Angeles took an 84-83 lead after three quarters via a 10-3 run in the final four minutes of the period. Ingram, Kuzma and Brook Lopez scored six points in the quarter. Embiid paced Philadelphia in the quarter with nine points. Philadelphia shot 52.6 percent from the field while Los Angeles shot 39.4 percent.
Philadelphia led at halftime 58-54 led by Embiid’s 18 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. Ingram registered 15 points and Kuzma added 10 points for Los Angeles.
NOTES: The teams will meet again Dec. 7 in Philadelphia to conclude the two-game season series. ... Philadelphia returns home Thursday to start a six-game homestand against the Golden State Warriors. ... USA Today reported 76ers F Robert Covington is discussing the framework of a four-year, $62 million contract extension with team management. ... Lakers F Larry Nance, Jr. missed his seventh straight game with a second metacarpal fracture in his left hand. ... Joel Embiid’s previous career high was 33 points against Brooklyn on Dec. 18, 2016. ... Los Angeles continues its four-game homestand against Phoenix on Friday.