Joel Embiid, Sixers serve off LeBron-much less Lakers, 126-121

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds, James Harden added 24 points and the Philadelphia 76ers hung on for a 126-121 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James on Wednesday night.Two nights after the Sixers surprisingly beat Eastern Conference-leading Miami despite playing without Embiid and Harden, both stars…

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joel Embiid had 30 aspects and 10 rebounds, James Harden added 24 aspects and the Philadelphia 76ers held on for a 126-121 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James on Wednesday night time.

Two nights after the Sixers surprisingly beat Jap Convention-main Miami no topic playing without Embiid and Harden, each and every stars returned for a more difficult-than-expected recall over the up-and-down Lakers. Tyrese Maxey scored 21 aspects for Philadelphia, which has won 5 of seven total.

“Guys played successfully,” Harden stated. “Obviously, we desired to play quite a bit higher, especially defensively. But we’ll buy the recall, and we’ve upright obtained to continue to receive higher in these closing games earlier than the playoffs.”

James sat out to relaxation his sore knees, scuttling the potential showdown between the NBA’s main scorer and Embiid, who became a portion of a degree in the attend of him.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers noticed his group’s second-half play in the attend of its stars as an encouraging price for the process of creating teamwork between Embiid and newcomer Harden earlier than the playoffs.

“Gigantic characterize, it’s going nice, because they wish to create it,” Rivers stated. “As far as doing it successfully, they’re up and down. When you happen to’ve obtained two guys that wish to receive it correct, they’ll receive it correct. It’s subtle because it’s being performed with 22 games left.”

Dwight Howard scored a season-excessive 24 aspects and Malik Monk had 23 for Los Angeles in a exciting effort from the supporting solid, however the Lakers misplaced for the 11th time in 15 games to descend 11 games under .500 all over again (31-42).

“Our diagram is championships, and it’s silent there,” stated Stanley Johnson, who scored 13 aspects. “We’re searching for to position the work in direction of issues so after we receive to the play-in game and the playoffs that we’re willing, playing our most efficient basketball. There’s no recall tonight for us at all, however the effort is one thing that we are in a position to continue, and we are in a position to exercise that later.”

The ninth-dilemma Lakers are silent in the expanded playoff characterize, however they're now guaranteed to create with their seventh shedding account in 9 years. That’s the identical replacement of shedding seasons they had in the old 53 years, initiating after they moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960.

“We’re making growth,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated. “We’re building habits that are going to recall for us in the postseason, and we’re persevering with to develop. We’re disappointed we misplaced, however without Bron, without AD, the neighborhood that played showed all people we’ve silent obtained loads of of fight left in us.”

Philadelphia led by 14 in the second half, however the Lakers obtained inner 93-91 heading to the fourth quarter. Los Angeles focused its defense on Embiid, however Maxey and Tobias Harris hit enormous photography down the stretch as Philly held on.

Russell Westbrook done with 24 aspects, and he obtained a decide and a layup with 32 seconds left to tidy Philadelphia’s result in four aspects earlier than the Sixers hit their free throws to ice it. Harris scored 9 of his 20 aspects in the fourth quarter.

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 aspects for LA.

TIP-INS

76ers: DeAndre Jordan had 9 aspects and 7 rebounds in his return to face the Lakers, who waived the veteran center three weeks ago after he struggled mightily in LA. ... Philly’s avenue commute continues towards the Clippers and finishes in a showdown with the NBA-main Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Lakers: Talen Horton-Tucker sat out for the third time in four games with a sprained left ankle. ... In James’ absence, Johnson grew to alter into a section of the Lakers’ 35th initiating lineup of the season, the franchise’s most because the 2013-14 season. ... Dapper Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp watched the game at courtside with his higher half, Anna. Kupp is the most in model Rams considerable particular person to make a decision on the Lakers since their championship season ended — however unlike Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford, the Lakers didn’t recall for Kupp. ... Westbrook handed Lakers nice Elgin Baylor for 32nd dilemma on the NBA’s profession scoring checklist.

LEBRON RESTS

James had played in the Lakers’ closing eight games no topic the continual soreness in his knee, averaging 33.1 aspects, 8.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists all over that stretch whereas searching for to lift Los Angeles into the playoffs. James also grew to alter into the second-main scorer in NBA history all over that span.

And whereas Vogel stated James didn’t sit out strategically, the resolution presents him 5 consecutive days off earlier than Sunday, when the ninth-dilemma Lakers consult with the 10th-dilemma Contemporary Orleans Pelicans in an improbably huge game for the Lakers’ playoff hopes.

James became honored with a tribute video after the first quarter for passing Karl Malone on the NBA’s profession scoring checklist. James, who watched from the bench in avenue attire, acknowledged the ovation with a wave.

UP NEXT

76ers: At Clippers on Friday.

Lakers: At Pelicans on Sunday.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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