The Sixers picked up their fourth win in a row in a late-night win over the LA Lakers led by a 28-point performance from Danny Green.
Deadline day is a nerve-racking experience for many players around the league on a yearly basis. Danny Green is no stranger to this experience as he has been traded four times throughout his career. However, this year was no different as Kyle Lowry rumors and connections to the Warriors swirled throughout the morning. Talks heated up so much that Green’s agent even reportedly told the veteran to prepare to be traded.
But the deadline came to a close, and Danny Green remained a Sixers as Daryl Morey, and the rest of the front office decided to show their faith in Green. The trade rumors seemingly did not affect Green in this matchup, as he helped the Sixers cruised past the Lakers on a night where he received last season’s championship ring:
In this matchup against his former teammates, Green put on one of the most professional performances of his career and led all scorers in the matchup with 28 points. Late signs of life kept the Lakers around, but the Sixers were able to secure a 109-101 victory.
In what was an ugly and scrappy half of basketball, the Sixers and Lakers went into halftime tied at 54.
After trading away Tony Bradley and Vincent Poirier this afternoon, the Sixers knew they were light on depth in big men heading into this matchup. Doc Rivers elected to start Mike Scott alongside the other four usual starters, but it was Scott’s three quick first-half fouls that forced him to the bench.
To make matters worse, Dwight Howard was up to his usual antics and found himself mixing things up with Montrezl Harrell in the first quarter. After some pushing and shoving during the game, Dwight Howard walked into Harrell heading to the benches at the end of the 1st quarter and was ejected for the action. Howard played just 6 minutes of game time before hitting the showers early.
With Dwight unable to play, Paul Reed was also given some minutes tonight, which was pleasant to see. Reed ended with four points and three rebounds in nine minutes of play. Rivers also elected to play Simmons at center for several stretches.
In total, there were six technical fouls given out in the first half. The back-and-forth matchup featured a balanced attack with the Sixers as nine different players registered a point in the first half. Danny Green started hot right from the tip and led the team with 13 points heading into halftime.
The Sixers took off with a hot start in the second half and began building a lead early in the third quarter. Danny Green remained hot and added eight more points in the first 4 minutes. The Lakers struggled to score, and Matisse Thybulle wreaked havoc on defense. Matisse ended with four steals on the night and had 3 of these in his first 12 minutes of play.
In total, the Sixers took the quarter by a score of 35-17 and secured their largest lead of the game at 18. The Lakers were able to climb their way back in the fourth quarter, and it got as close as a 3 point game with under a minute to play. In the end, it was Danny Green who was able to ice the game for the Sixers by knocking down a tough, contested three-pointer to push the lead to 6 with thirty seconds to play.
In his 33 minutes of play, Danny Green scored a total of 28 points on 8-12 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. This fell just five points short of his career-high and one point shy of his season-high. He also was one three-pointer short of his career-high threes in a game that he set earlier this season against the Heat.
Largely due to their lack of centers, the Sixers pushed the pace and made it a point to put an emphasis on putting up three-pointers. The team shot 17-45 from beyond the arc on the night, which is significantly above the 10.7 makes and 29 attempts they average per game.
Seth Curry also had a very productive night as he was second on the team in scoring with 19. Curry added four three-pointers of his own and shot four of eight from beyond the arc. Ben Simmons also made it a point to get out and run the offense early and picked up twelve assists as evidence of this.
Sixers Main Takeaways
On the one hand, this victory shouldn’t mean much. The Lakers were without LeBron James and Anthony Davis and are a lottery-level team without this duo. They were led by 25 points (on 21 shots) from Kyle Kuzma and 20 points from both Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder, and their offense looked stagnant at times without their superstars.
On the other hand, it was a positive sign to see the Sixers play some really solid basketball in a way that they haven’t shown much this year. Typically relying on a post-heavy and isolation-oriented game, the Sixers don’t typically lean heavily on three-point production. If this level of production can continue when Embiid returns, they may not need the heroic 40+ point efforts that were consistently seen before the all-star break.
The Sixers are once again proving to be a legitimately good team and maintain their first place spot in the East. The Sixers have now won their last four games and 10 of their last 11. They will be back at it for another late-night matchup against the Clippers on Saturday.