Philadelphia 76ers vs. LA Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Lakers

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. LA Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Lakers
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their fifth straight game on Sunday, falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 111-104 in an ugly up-and-down affair at Staples Center.

Mike D'Antoni's club was incredibly reliant on jump shots in the loss, which was bad news on a night when they shot 37 percent from the field and 32 percent from three.

"We have guys battling but it's just not enough right now," head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the game, according to Lakers Nation's Serena Winters. 

The Sixers also outscored the Lakers 52-28 in the paint and torched L.A. in transition to the tune of a 10-point advantage on the fast break. 

L.A. was sloppy with the ball, as well, committing 22 turnovers compared to 11 by the visitors. 

The Lakers allowed the Sixers to score a combined 66 points over the second and third quarters, and despite outscoring Philadelphia by two in the game's final frame, they failed to come up with several clean looks that could have tied the game.   

Evan Turner scored 22 points, while Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 25 points and nine rebounds. 

 

Key Players

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Nick Young, Sixth Man

Perhaps it was because the Sixers were familiar with Nick Young dating back to his days as a member of the squad during the 2012-13 campaign, but Swaggy P struggled to get going against the league's worst scoring defense.

Young missed his first five shots from the field, many of which were contested jumpers, and managed just two points during a first quarter in which the Lakers shot 27.3 percent from the field. 

And boy, was that an ominous sign of things to come.

As the game wore on, Young's scoring ramped up and he was able to finish with 26 points, but it was hardly an efficient performance. He shot 6-of-21 from the field and 2-of-11 from three. Twelve of his points came from the line, where he converted all of his attempts.

He was the team's leading scorer, though.

Young also committed a team-high six turnovers and was unable to come up with several clutch buckets down the stretch, which sunk his grade even more. 

Grade: D-

 

Jordan Farmar, Point Guard

Jordan Farmar didn't put forth a superlative effort in the first half. He was incapable of getting the Lakers' offense into a nice rhythm as he had against the Utah Jazz. A sign of the team's lack of pace was 13 first-half turnovers, three of which came courtesy of Farmar.

Farmar's production didn't increase much in the second half, either. He finished with eight points, a team-high eight assists and three turnovers while shooting 3-of-11 from the field and 1-of-5 from three.

Grade: D-

 

Jordan Hill, Center

Starting in place of the injured Pau Gasol, who continues to deal with an upper respiratory infection, Jordan Hill scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 27 minutes, recording his sixth double-double of the season in the process.

It was Hill's first start over the Lakers' last four games, and he thrived on the boards against Brett Brown's undersized front line comprised of Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young and a band of veteran minimum bodies off of the Sixers' bench.

Simply put, Hill provided a level of energy that his teammates lacked. 

Grade: B+

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

 

Jodie Meeks, Shooting Guard

Along with Nick Young, Jodie Meeks was another former 76er who got in on the action on Sunday evening.

The difference, though, was that Meeks was actually making some of his jump shots, including four of the team's first five from beyond the arc, which made him one of the only reliable jump-shooters L.A. threw out there against an underwhelming Sixers defense.

His second half was rather quiet, though.

Meeks was the first Lakers player into double figures with 12 points and finished with 15 on 5-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-8 shooting from three.  

Grade: C

 

Wesley Johnson, Small Forward

As has often been the case this season, Wes Johnson didn't provide anything to write home about. 

He finished with two points and four rebounds and committed two turnovers on a night when the Lakers could have used a hot hand from beyond the arc.

Grade: F

 

Shawne Williams, Power Forward

Shawne Williams needed to bring energy against an athletically superior Thad Young, and he did so early with a quick three, a block and some lively defense on the lanky 6'8'' forward.

And while he wasn't exactly consistent, Williams more than doubled his season averages of 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds, totaling 11 points and 10 boards in the loss.

All three of his made field goals came from beyond the arc. 

A potential game-tying three that Williams missed with under 30 seconds left dropped his grade from a B to a B-minus.

Grade: B-

 

Bench

After starting Friday's contest against the Jazz and racking up a season-high 19 points in the loss, Chris Kaman came off the bench on Sunday. A rolled ankle forced him to play very limited minutes.

Kaman was good for just four points and three rebounds in 10 minutes.

What's more concerning, though, is that Xavier Henry was forced from the game with a knee injury and did not return, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Somehow, the Lakers' backcourt is now even thinner than it previously was.

However, Ryan Kelly remained a member of L.A.'s rotation, scoring seven points, pulling down six rebounds and blocking two shots in 18 minutes. Delaware 87ers (the Sixers' D-League affiliate) product Kendall Marshall saw 17 minutes and scored eight points as the backup point guard, all after Henry exited. His five-point stretch towards the end of the second quarter helped the Lakers knot things up at halftime. 

All in all, it was a pleasantly surprising performance from a couple of inexperienced young guns.

Grade: B

 

What's Next? 

The Lakers will host the lowly Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on New Year's Eve and look to snap a five-game losing streak, while the Sixers will square off against the Denver Nuggets on New Year's Day.

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