The Sixers started off cold, and a hot fourth quarter wasn’t enough to beat the Lakers
This loss stings, possibly more than any other loss in the last few years. Even with some atrocious play, the game seemed within reaching distance at the end of the first half, as the Sixers were behind 57-49. With no help from the bench, and cold shooting all around, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid had to take control of the entire offense once again, something that is happening way too often.
The third quarter was much of the same, both teams trading blows and the Sixers not able to gain any ground. Once again, way too many turnovers and no bench support (2 bench points at halftime? Seriously?) for a young team that desperately needs more consistency. It was nice to see TJ McConnell running the second unit again, coming back from injury, but it was painfully obvious he wasn’t the same player. Without TJ playing his scrappy style the rest of the bench lacked identity, suffering because of it. Couple in JJ Redick having a rough night and the Sixers were once again in a sizable hole after the third.
But then the 4th quarter happened. Suddenly everything started to drop and the momentum turned in a big way. Simmons was doing everything, notching a triple double by the start of the fourth, Embiid was dominating down low, and Robert Covington was red hot from deep and playing great defense. But the Sixers MVP for this game had to be Richaun Holmes. He was the only one to provide any spark off of the bench, playing meaningful minutes and ending the night with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. But a late Embiid miss led to a fast break for the Lakers, something the Sixers couldn’t stop all night. The fast break allowed Lonzo Ball to set up the offense and get the Sixers defense off balance, allowing Brandon Ingram to sink the game winning 3 pointer with less than a second left.
What hurts the most is that the Sixers were basically sleepwalking through three quarters and decided to show up in the fourth, but too little too late. Another tough game against the Cavaliers is up next, and the Sixers can’t allow themselves to sleepwalk at all if they even want a chance to win this game.
- The Sixers seemed to miss Dario Saric’s length in the lineup, as some of the Los Angeles bigs had their way early on. Hopefully Saric will be back sooner rather than later.
- Richaun Holmes needs to start taking Amir Johnson’s minutes ASAP.
- Joel Embiid loves playing against the player he trash talks. In both games against the Lakers Embiid has scored a combined 79 points.
- Ben Simmons with another triple-double tonight, scoring 12 points, with 13 rebounds and 16 assists. A player that size shouldn’t be able to pass the way he does, truly special.
- TJ McConnell is the heart of this team, he didn’t look right tonight and the team felt a little lost without his personality on full display.
- Markelle Fultz is getting healthier, don’t forget the team has another first overall pick waiting in the wings.