76ers vs Lakers: Can the Sixers get back on track?

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NBA: FEB 06 Rockets at Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 06: Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) looks at the basket before the Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers game on February 06, 2020, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers (12-12) will be taking on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (10-14) at the Wells Fargo Center tonight in South Philly. Friday night starts a seven-game homestand for the Sixers, who are in need of a win. The Sixers come into tonight’s matchup on a three-game losing streak, capped off by a loss in  Double OT to the lowly Houston Rockets. Meanwhile, the Lakers are coming into tonight’s contest after a blowout loss to the Raptors without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Game Info for 76ers vs Lakers

When: Friday, December 9th, 2022

Tipoff: 76ers vs Lakers – 7:30PM EST

Where: Philadelphia, PA | Wells Fargo Center

How to watch: ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia

Can the Sixers begin to right the ship tonight against LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook? Check out three storylines for tonight’s game:

Can Harden knock off the rust?

James Harden returned to the lineup on Monday night against the Houston Rockets after being out for a month with a foot injury. Harden returned and he played like he had been out for over four weeks and needed to get his rhythm back. He scored 21 points and had 7 assists, but shot 4-19 and had plenty of turnovers. A couple of his turnovers were down the stretch of the game as well, which helped the Rockets take control in double overtime. Harden and Embiid have only played seven games together this season but the 76ers are only 2-5 in those games. Hopefully, Harden can knock some of the rust off tonight and get into a better rhythm and chemistry with Joel Embiid.

Battle of the bigs

Normally when Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis play against one another, they put on a show. Two of the best big men in the game going blow for blow. More recently, Joel Embiid has separated from Davis proving that he is the best two-way big man in the game while Davis dealt with injuries that made him miss a ton of games. Now that Davis seems healthier this season, he has been playing much better. In the last two games that he started, he scored 44 and 55 respectively. Expect tonight to be a clash of the Titans, with each player trying to assert their will and lead their team to victory.

76ers defense needs to step up

Before the last three games, the 76ers had played themselves back into one of the top defensive teams in the league. During this three-game losing streak, it’s like they forgot how to stop drives into the paint and how to rebound. Against the Cavs and Grizzlies, guards continually got into the paint and scored at will. Against the Rockets, they were out-hustled and out-rebounded. If the Sixers want to get back to winning ways, they need to focus on that end of the floor.

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire