Finished TV: ABC | NBATV Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia
The Los Angeles Lakers shook off the bad feelings left in the wake of the trade deadline and pulled off an impressive win over a top team from the Eastern Conference on Thursday. The Lakers will try to turn that trick again when they visit an East contender on Sunday that improved itself at the deadline in the Philadelphia 76ers.
Los Angeles reportedly offered up nearly every young player on the roster in an effort to acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis before the deadline but ultimately could not get the deal done, leaving some to wonder about the psychological impact that would have on a team struggling to stay in the playoff race. The Lakers answered some of those questions by battling back from an 18-point deficit on the road and downing the Boston Celtics 129-128 while getting significant contributions from the likes of Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. The 76ers made several big splashes in front of the deadline, acquiring Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers and bolstering the team's depth with veteran wings James Ennis and Jonathon Simmons. Harris collected 14 points and eight rebounds in his debut on Friday as Philadelphia improved to 22-6 at home with a 117-110 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE LAKERS (28-27): Los Angeles is sitting in the No. 10 spot in the West with 27 games left in the regular season and general manager Rob Pelinka is hoping his team can emulate the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. "I think early on they were facing a ton of adversity," Pelinka said on a conference call Friday. "There were lots of stories being told about fractured relationships, but what did they do? They kind of came together. ... My hope is our story is a little bit, maybe, like that where we're on the outside but we find a way to get in the playoffs with the skill sets we've added. And then much like (Tom) Brady did, we let one of the all-time greats -- LeBron (James) -- take the helm for this team and make some noise." James recorded a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in Thursday's win while fellow veteran Rajon Rondo knocked down the game-winner to finish off a 17-point, 10-assist effort.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (35-20): Philadelphia's starting lineup of JJ Redick, Harris, Jimmy Butler and All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid now rivals any in the East, and those five were on the court for the decisive stretch in the fourth quarter on Friday. "I thought it looked great just coming off the court right away," Redick told reporters of the lineup. "That was my initial thought. We have a lot of options, a lot of versatility, and you saw a glimpse of it down the stretch tonight where I think each guy made a play down the stretch, and that's who we can be." Redick benefited the most on Friday from the extra space provided by Harris and finished with 34 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
1. Simmons could make his Philadelphia debut on Sunday.
2. Lakers SG Reggie Bullock, who was acquired from the Detroit Pistons prior to the deadline, will make his team debut on Sunday.
3. The road team took each of the last five meetings, with Philadelphia breezing to a 121-105 victory at Los Angeles on Jan. 29.
PREDICTION: 76ers 131, Lakers 117 Bet Now
See all the NBA basketball Predictions