PLAYER GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 121, Los Angeles Lakers 105

Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers hold victorious over the Los Angeles Lakers in their second of four consecutive West Coast road trip games. The Sixers’ lopsided victory over the Los Angeles Lakers marks their 33rd of the season, propelling them closer to surpassing the third-place Indiana Pacers.

Although the Philadelphia 76ers secured 21 wins at the Wells Fargo Center, compared to their 11 traveling on the road, the team earned their 12th road victory at the  Staples Center. The 76ers, now owning a 12-12 record against teams with a winning percentage of .500 or higher, improved to 33 wins on Tuesday.

In a relatively quiet night in California, Sixers guard Jimmy Butler made his first start since Jan. 19, where an apparent wrist injury warranted an early exit. Journeyman Wilson Chandler returned to action for the Sixers, as did Joel Embiid, despite an upset stomach that kept him from participating in the team’s shoot around. The Los Angeles Lakers, closely trailing the Los Angeles Clippers for an eighth seed, played without LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma.

Perhaps the most exciting matchup prior to Tuesday’s victory was Joel Embiid (averaging nearly 40 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks, and almost seven assists in his last two games against the Lakers) facing up against a youthful yet talented Ivica Zubac (averaging a near double-double in the month of January).

Ben Simmons, the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft, scored at least 12 points, dished out at least 10 assists, collected at least nine rebounds, and added at least one block in his only two games against the Lakers. Whereas Brandon Ingram, the second pick behind Simmons in 2016, entered this meeting averaging 23.5 points and nine rebounds in games against the Sixers’ guard. Interestingly enough, Jimmy Butler came into this contest averaging 22 points in 15 games against the Lakers, his second highest point scoring average against a team.

<strong>30 mins | 28 pts | 11 reb | 6 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 6 TO | 7-16 FG | 2-6 3PT| 12-15 FT | 3 PF | 22 +/-|</strong><p>After a massage, <a href=. C. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID. A

<strong>36 mins | 19 pts | 8 reb | 6 ast | 3 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 9-18 FG | 0-0 3PT| 1-1 FT | 2 PF | 8 +/-|</strong><p><a href=. PG. Philadelphia 76ers. BEN SIMMONS. B

A-. <strong>28 mins | 20 pts |  5 reb | 6 ast | 5 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 7-9 FG | 1-2 3PT| 5-6 FT | 0 PF | 26 +/-|</strong><p><a href=. SG. Philadelphia 76ers. JIMMY BUTLER

C+. <strong>24 mins | 17 pts | 7 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 0 TO | 6-13 FG | 3-6 3PT| 2-2 FT | 4 PF | -2 +/-|</strong><p><a href=. C. Philadelphia 76ers. MIKE MUSCALA

C. <strong>28 mins | 9 pts | 4 reb | 3 ast | 2 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 3-7 FG | 3-7 3PT| 0-0 FT | 1 PF | 27 +/-|</strong><p>Much like Muscala, <a href=. SF. Philadelphia 76ers. WILSON CHANDLER

For Philadelphia, their 33rd win comes against a depleted Los Angeles Lakers team, that turned the ball over 21 times (averaging 16.7 turnovers without LeBron James). The Lakers scored more points off of turnovers, created more fast break points, and scored far more points within the paint, but Philadelphia generated more assists, steals, and blocks. The Sixers improve to 16-10 in games where the point scoring margin is at least 10 or more points.

Joel Embiid was right on par with his points per game on the road this season, even adding about three more than his 25.9 average. Embiid collected double-digit rebounds, putting him on the heels of Rudy Gobert‘s league-leading 41 double-doubles.

Brett Brown expressed plans to run Jimmy Butler at the point guard position in the matchup against Los Angeles, and did so successfully. Butler and Embiid effectively ran pick-and-rolls time and time again, which translated to incredibly efficient shooting for Butler. The gravity Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler added when the two were on the floor also helped in spreading the Sixers’ offense.

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The Philadelphia 76ers face Golden State tomorrow at 10:30 PM E.T. and conclude their West Coast road trip Saturday against the Sacramento Kings.