LeBron James made some history tonight, but the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t get the result they wanted, losing 108-91 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. 91 is the fewest points the Lakers have scored this season.
Things started to fall apart pretty early for the purple and gold. They allowed a 17-4 run spanning the end of the second quarter to the start of the third, and only scored two points over the first seven-and-a-half minutes of the third period. James made history by passing Kobe Bryant later in the quarter, but it hardly felt great given the score at the time.
The Lakers made a run later in the game, cutting the deficit to as little as five behind a few baskets from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (who teamed with Alex Caruso to play hellacious defense and get L.A. out on the break during that stretch) but it was ultimately too little, too late for a weary Lakers team at the end of a five-game trip. The Sixers also deserve credit for a hell of a counterpunch, and Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons were sensational on the night, combining for 57 points in the game. Simmons added in 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals.
It’s been a broken record at times this season, but Rajon Rondo was particularly abominable tonight, playing poor defense, literally passing the ball to no one for turnovers and getting his shot swatted. As many of his minutes as possible need to go to Caruso — who is at this point thoroughly outplaying him — as soon as possible until the Lakers can find another solution at the deadline or on the buyout market.
This loss drops the Lakers to 36-10 on the season, and 3-2 over their annual Grammy road trip. They will now head home to host their Staples Center co-tenants, the LA Clippers, on Tuesday. If that game doesn’t go a lot better than this one, the lead up to the trade deadline is gonna be reeeeeallllllly interesting.