The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Eastern Conference heavyweights Philadelphia 76ers face the ailing LA Lakers.
13:00 (AEDT), Thu 24th Mar @ Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
History: Played 320: Lakers 166 V 76ers 154
Last meeting: January 27, 2022: 76ers 105 d Lakers 87 at Wells Fargo Center
Final Thoughts: Philadelphia 76ers are still in the frame to finish atop the Eastern Conference – but they can still slide from their current third-place standing. The Lakers are consigned to the Western Conference play-in tournament and are not yet guaranteed their spot there.
The 44-27 Sixers have won 10 of their last 14. After going down 93-88 to the Raptors, they overcame the East-leading Heat 113-106 two days ago on a back-to-back – despite the absence of marquee duo Joel Embiid and James Harden. Tyrese Maxey put up 28 points, while Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz combined for 38 off the bench.
Embiid and Harden are set to return today.
The 30-41 Lakers have won just five of their last 18 games. But in recent days they have bookended a loss to the Wizards (127-119) with road wins over the Raptors in OT (128-123) and Cavaliers (131-120).
Anthony Davis remains sidelined and LeBron James is carrying the team. He racked up a 38-point triple-double in Cleveland and is averaging 30.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists for the season. The maligned Russell Westbrook is putting up 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.
The 76ers have won six of their last seven against the Lakers. The teams met in Philadelphia in late-January, with the Sixers carving out a 105-87 victory. Joel Embiid (26 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast) starred in a winning effort, while Anthony Davis (32 pts, 12 reb) shone for a LeBron-less Lakers.
The 76ers are 23-11 on the road (20-13-1 ATS), winning six of their last seven away. The Lakers are 20-17 at home (15-22 ATS) but have won only two of their last seven at Crypto.com Arena.
Even a superhuman performance from LeBron may not be enough to topple a 76ers outfit with a rested Embiid and Harden. The Lakers’ last five losses were by 8-plus and the Sixers should cover the line here.
Best Bet: Handicap – 76ers -7.5 @ $1.90
Same Game Multi: Margin – 76ers 11+; Total – Over 228.5; Joel Embiid Points – Over 31.5; James Harden Assists – Over 10.5; LeBron James Assists – Over 6.5 @ $31.02