On Allen Iverson Hall of Fame night, the Los Angeles Lakers had all the answers for the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.
It's Allen Iverson Hall of Fame Night here in Philly, so I caught a glimpse of AI from a hallway in Philly. #Sixers #ThisIsWhyWePlay @NBA pic.twitter.com/oYnRhXN4f4 — Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) December 17, 2016
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LA jumped out to an 11-0 lead and proceeded to win 100-89 in a wire-to-wire victory that snapped an eight-game losing streak. Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell, who finally looked fully recovered from a sore knee that forced him to miss 12 games, combined well with forward Julius Randle to give the Lakers the much-needed victory.
Randle finished with 25 points on 10-13 shooting, nine rebound, four assists and three steals in 33 minutes. Russell ended his night with 15 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
"He was real big time," Russell responded when asked about Randle's contributions after the game. "I think he's capable of doing that every night. Just bringing that energy level. He's destined to make shots. He's destined for the ball to fall in his lap, for him to make plays. I feel like the sooner he realizes that we need him every night, we'll be a different team."
With Randle and Russell back combining well, other Lakers' starters like Nick Young found space to operate. Young finished with 15 points on 5-9 shooting in 21 minutes. With fellow former Sixer Lou Williams continuing to light up the scoreboard in the city he previously called home, LA comfortably led by 13 points at the half. Williams eventually ended the night with 18 points and four steals in 23 minutes.
"I thought that we came out and set our tone defensively early on and had one of our better defensive games for the most part of tonight," Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the game.
In the third quarter, the Lakers brought out the boo birds from the Philly fanatics. LA used the same combination of players that had helped build the initial lead to take a 22-point advantage, but a late Sixers' 9-0 run had the fans re-energized and only trailing by 10 points entering the fourth quarter.
When the Sixers cut the deficit to only seven points with nine minutes remaining in the game, the crowd began to believe a comeback was possible. However, four short minutes later, the Lakers led by 12 points and the hope, along with the home fans, began to dissipate in concert with the game clock.
Despite a late push by the home team, the Lakers held on to collect a much-needed victory and improve to 11-18 on the season.
"It feels good to get this one, stopping that losing streak," Russell said after the game.
Next, the LA travels to Cleveland to play the defending NBA champs on the second night of a back-to-back.
Larry Nance Jr. made Luol Deng's post game interview hilariously awkward. It was payback bc Deng kept interrupting @Larrydn22 earlier... pic.twitter.com/rEda4mSUvE — Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) December 17, 2016