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Lakers fall to 76ers after a furious rally forces overtime

Joel Embiid had 38 points and 12 rebounds, De’Anthony Melton scored a career-high 33 points off the bench and the Philadelphia 76ers recovered after blowing a nine-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 133-122 in overtime on Friday night.

Anthony Davis had 31 points and 12 rebounds, while LeBron James scored 23 points for the Lakers. James (sore left ankle) and Davis (illness) both missed a loss in Toronto on Tuesday.

Russell Westbrook had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, joining Magic Johnson as the only Lakers with a triple-double off the bench.

The Lakers were down 12 with 2½ minutes remaining in regulation but rallied on clutch buckets and costly fouls by the Sixers. James converted a three-point play with a minute left that pulled the Lakers to within 115-110.

Austin Reaves buried a three-pointer with 12 seconds left that pulled the Lakers to within 119-117 and got a tremendous rise out of the Lakers fans well represented in the crowd. Down 120-117, Reaves was fouled by Matisse Thybulle on a three-point attempt. He made the first two free throws and missed the third. Davis then was fouled by Tobias Harris with 3.7 seconds left. Davis missed one of two that made it 120-all and sent the game into overtime.

The Lakers made 16 of 20 free throws in the fourth.

Dennis Schroder scored 18 points but the Lakers, without Anthony Davis and LeBron James, fell to the Raptors 126-113 on Wednesday in Toronto.

James Harden had a bucket in overtime that gave the Sixers breathing room and finished with 28 points and 12 assists.

Melton had a career game in the third alone with three steals, hit four three-pointers and he made all six shots in a 16-point quarter. He made eight threes overall.

Embiid highlighted a wild first half with a 20-point first quarter on eight-of-nine shooting overall and made two three-pointers. Embiid scored as many points as the Lakers in the quarter when he led the Sixers to a 31-21 lead. Embiid’s eight baskets also matched the Lakers’ total.

He closed the quarter with a powerful dunk over Thomas Bryant.

The 76ers' Joel Embiid handles the ball against the Lakers' Anthony Davis on Dec. 9, 2022.

The 76ers’ Joel Embiid, who had 38 points and 12 rebounds, handles the ball against the Lakers’ Anthony Davis. Davis finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Embiid briefly went to the locker room at the start of the second quarter and that left an opening for the Lakers. The Sixers traditionally struggle when Embiid is off the court, not terribly surprising since he is the reigning NBA scoring champion.

The Lakers went on a 13-2 run with Embiid on the bench, a run that wasn’t steadied until Embiid returned and made a three-pointer for a 36-34 lead. The game then morphed into a three-point shootout. The Lakers made four, the 76ers had six and Philly took a 61-59 lead into the break.

Reaves, who made two threes and scored 15 points, kept the Lakers within striking distance. He finished with 25.

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