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Mar 21, 2024 8:53 pm

Lakers hope to continue offensive surge vs. 76ers

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After delivering the kind of offense they showed when they started their revival last month, the Los Angeles Lakers will be in search of similar results when they play host to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

The Lakers stormed away with a 136-105 victory at home over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday in a performance similar to their 6-1 run to open February. They scored 124 points or more four times in that span.

On Monday, D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points, LeBron James added 25 and Anthony Davis had 22 points with 15 rebounds after he was questionable with an eye injury. The Lakers (37-32) have been fluctuating between the ninth and 10th spot in the Western Conference standings of late.

Russell went 6 of 10 on 3-pointers, giving him 183 for the season, tying the franchise mark set by Nick Van Exel in 1994-95. Russell made four of those bombs in the second half as the Lakers pulled away for the victory.

“It’s really cool, honestly, just to know that, to get credit for your game and what you work to do and showcase it every night,” said Russell, who added 10 assists, about tying the mark. “It’s just really cool. I said I don’t want to underdo it, understate it, overdo it. I just feel like it’s really cool to just be a part of something like that.”

The Lakers not only shot 57.8 percent from the floor, they shot 41.7 percent (15 of 36) from 3-point range and had 23 fast-break points in a sign their offense was solid as well.

The Lakers appreciated the long layoff this late in the season.

“We’ll get a chance to tighten up some things offensively, tighten up some things defensively,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “There’s a couple of new wrinkles we want to do on both sides of the ball, and we’ll get a chance to look at.”

The 76ers (38-31) continue to stumble down the stretch with a 3-6 record since back-to-backs wins on March 1 and 3. Joel Embiid hasn’t played since Jan. 30 after a left knee injury that required a surgical procedure, but he has been moving closer to a return.

Embiid has ramped up his on-court activity and plans to return before the end of the season.

“He is on the court, I don’t want to say daily, but almost every day now where he is on the court doing basketball things,” Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. “All the checkups have been positive and he’s kind of in the ramp-up phase now. What can he handle? When can he start having contact? When can he start playing one-on-one? … Then we’ll be really close.”

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 18 points Wednesday as the Sixers lost 115-102 to the host Phoenix Suns. The contest, which ended a two-game winning streak, was the start of a four-game road trip that still has three games remaining in California.

In addition to Embiid being out, Tobias Harris missed his third consecutive game Wednesday with a right ankle sprain. De’Anthony Melton (back) has been out since the start of the month. He missed most of January and February as well.

–Field Level Media

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