Tonight, the Sixers defeated the Lakers, 109-101 in Los Angeles.
The game got off to a chippy start. Dwight Howard and Montrezl Harrell were jockeying for position a bunch in the first quarter. Heading to the bench in between quarters, Howard walked past Harrell intentionally closely (I think) and was ejected after he was shoved by Harrell. It was an extremely excessive ejection in my opinion, and it was lunacy that Harrell withstood no punishment despite shoving Howard a second time.
So the Sixers had to play even smaller in the team’s first game without Tony Bradley, traded today along with Vincent Poirier and Terrance Ferguson in exchange for George Hill and Ignas Brazdeikis.
For three quarters, the Sixers played very well.
Danny Green was the story of the night. He had 28 points on 9/14 from the field and 8/12 from three point range, including the dagger with 30 seconds left. He was excellent in his return to LA.
Seth Curry returned from an ankle injury and didn’t miss a step, scoring 19 points and 13 shots (4 made threes).
Ben Simmons didn’t score well (9 point on 1/7 from the field) and he turned it over too much (7 times) but his defense was solid (2 steals, 1 block) and he got to the free throw line 11 times, making 7.
The Sixers were great in the third quarter and won the frame 35-17. They let up and got sloppy in the fourth, however, which allowed the Lakers to draw within 3 in a game they once trailed by 19.
Finally, Paul Reed should play over Mike Scott while the Sixers are shorthanded in the front court. Scott didn’t hit the rim on three of his three point attempts tonight (two hit only backboard, one missed the structure entirely). Reed showed great energy on both ends and has the tools to play some effective minutes for this team. My guess is Doc Rivers doesn’t trust him just yet, but I hope I’m wrong.
The Sixers are 32-13.
Next up is a game in the same stadium against the Clippers on Saturday night.