Meltrouted Lakers

By: Kylan Watson

After seven games in two weeks the Philadelphia 76ers finally got back to Philly. To start a seven-game home stand starting with the Los Angeles Lakers, who were reeling but a very scrappy team. Philly dominated most of this game but needed overtime to take care of a Lakers team that was propelled by a collapse of biblical proportions. However, Joel Embiid and De’Anthony Melton saved this game for Philly as they pushed them over the finish line and dominated the Lakers 133-122.

Joel Embiid clearly heard all the criticism after he fouled out against the Houston Rockets on Monday night. He scored 20 of his 38-points by the end of the first quarter that was capped off by a dunk and a fadeaway three-pointer at the end of the quarter. This was his fourth/five games that he scored 30-plus points and most of those games Philly has ended up in the win column. Since his return he has continued to anchor the Sixers on both sides of the ball, tonight he clearly got up for a national game against Anthony Davis.

When Philly needed it most the Southern California kid De’Anthony Melton stepped up to help his team as well. The first half was Joel Embiid’s, but the second half belonged to Melton. He scored 16 of his 33-points in the third quarter and his scoring got the Sixers out to a commanding 16-point lead. He also hit eight three-pointers (career high). He has been one of the best acquisitions of the season and his ability to be a force on both ends of the floor. Has opened up the capabilities of this team and has kept them afloat during an injury riddled stretch. If he can continue to be a defensive force and up his scoring like he did tonight, Philly can be one of the deadliest teams in the league.

Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid and Melton, the Lakers weathered the storm and were able to fight their way back in the game. Anthony Davis led them he scored 31-points and despite early foul trouble, and kept his team in the game. Philly had no answers for him late in the game as he hit some big buckets late in the game. Despite the late game push from Davis, the Sixers were up 16 points with four-minutes and thirty seconds left in the fourth quarter. Any team that wants to contend for a chip shouldn’t be collapsing. However, Philly did thanks to the defensive heat being turned up and not executing down the stretch. The Sixers turned the ball over 22 times and the Lakers scored 16-points off of those turnovers. Add-in a dumb Matisse Thybulle foul and you have the combination that led to this overtime.

The Sixers were able to win because they were able to execute down the stretch. They turned up the defensive pressure which forced Los Angeles into two turnovers in the period. That kept the Lakers from taking this game that should have never gotten this far. Philly will need to fix their late-game execution, if they want to continue keeping teams at bay when they have big leagues. With the Charlotte Hornets coming into town on Sunday night, they will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum. If they want to get their 14th win of the season.

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