Joel Embiid had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 22 points in his second game with Philadelphia, and the new-look 76ers beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 143-120 on Sunday.
JJ Redick added 21 points for the Sixers, who have won two straight after acquiring Harris and four others at Thursday’s trade deadline. Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points in front of a packed Philly crowd that brought a playoff-like feel to the nationally televised game.
“The East better watch out,” Lakers president Magic Johnson said. “This is a stacked team.”
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 39 points while James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
James was facing Philadelphia for the first time since the Sixers made a big push to sign the superstar as a free agent last summer. He and Kuzma both missed the last matchup with Philly on Jan. 29, which the Sixers won 121-105.
Fresh off a buzzer-beating win in Boston, the Lakers shot nearly 60 percent and scored 40 points in the first quarter. But fueled by Redick’s four-point play, the Sixers closed the first half on a 19-6 run to take a 76-67 lead into halftime.
Philadelphia’s lead ballooned to 109-94 at the end of the third quarter after T.J. McConnell’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds. The Sixers ran away with the game from there while gleeful fans chanted “Kobe’s better” at James.
Lakers: Johnson said before the game that he didn’t believe the New Orleans Pelicans engaged in good-faith negotiations at the trade deadline in the Lakers’ pursuit of Anthony Davis. Johnson added that the LA players who were on the trade block are professionals who are capable of moving forward. “This is how this league works,” he said. “They know it. I know it.” … Mike Muscala, one of two players the Lakers acquired at the deadline, had eight points in 13 minutes against the team he spent the first half of the season with before being dealt. … Coach Luke Walton said Josh Hart was available after dealing with knee tendinitis, but the former Villanova star did not get into the game.
76ers: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, film director M. Night Shyamalan, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout were in attendance. . One minute into the second half, Simmons attempted his first 3-pointer of the season. It rimmed out as much of the crowd gasped.
SIMMONS BELIEVES IN MAGIC
Johnson revealed that Simmons has reached out to the Lakers about working out with him this summer to learn more about playing the “position as a big guard.” Pending league approval, Johnson noted he’d be happy to accommodate such a wish.
“I love his game,” Johnson said. “I love his vision.”
Lakers: Complete their six-game road trip at the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
76ers: Host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.