Thursday, they got it – it just took longer than usual. T
The Lakers fans in the crowd roared and held up their phones when James finally emerged from the locker room in the third quarter just as Anthony Davis hit a jumper.
Maybe if he was in uniform it would’ve mattered. But sidelined with a sore knee and bundled up in a hoodie and a flannel shirt, James was about as good to the Lakers Thursday as anyone else on that bench.
Even with Davis out-playing MVP candidate Joel Embiid in a head-to-head matchup, the Lakers’ inconsistencies and lack of real production from its role players sunk them in a one-sided 105-87 loss to Philadelphia.
While Lakers coach Frank Vogel didn’t express serious concern about James’ injury – a sore left knee that flared up Thursday morning – it certainly had to be disappointing. One game after the Lakers got to play their three best players together for the first time in more than a month, any hope of building continuity out of that win was snatched away.
James is considered day to day, Vogel said.
With James out, Malik Monk moved into the starting lineup and missed all but one of his first eight shots. When he hit his second three and yelled “it’s about time” it was probably already too late, even against Doc Rivers’ 76ers, who have struggled to hold big leads.
Despite getting to within two early in the third quarter, the 76ers lead ballooned to as many as 22. The Lakers, though, couldn’t get the game within single digits – their final comeback push ended with a Russell Westbrook turnovers and an Embiid bank shot.
Embiid led four 76ers in double figures with 26. Davis scored 31 points to go with 12 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Westbrook added 20, but only Monk could join them in double figures with 11 (needing 13 shots).
The Lakers play the Hornets in Charlotte Friday night.