Los Angeles (36-9) wraps up a five-game road trip after a back-to-back sweep over the Knicks and Nets earlier this week. The Lakers are 20-4 on the road this season and have a 4.5-game lead for the best record in the Western Conference. Lebron James is approaching another milestone and is just 18 points away from catching Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James had 27 points in 34 minutes and recorded a triple-double in Wednesday’s win over the Nets. The former MVP has 10 triple-doubles this season.
Philadelphia (29-17) saw its four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night in Toronto despite winning the first quarter 35-26 over the Raptors. Joel Embiid returned to practice this week but will remain sidelined with a torn ligament in his left ring finger. The Sixers are 5-3 in Embiid’s absence. Josh Richardson will also sit out for at least two weeks after tweaking his hamstring against Toronto. Richardson is averaging 15.0 points and 3.4 assists this season. Furkan Korkmaz could see extended minutes in the rotation. Korkmaz nailed 4-of-8 from the 3-point line in 27 minutes off the bench on Wednesday.
ESPN’s FPI gives Philadelphia a 50.7% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s matchup between the Lakers and Sixers.
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Lakers vs. Sixers Game Details
Date: Saturday, January 25
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
TV: ABC, TSN
Spread: Lakers -4.5
- C JaVale McGee (illness) questionable
- PG Rajon Rondo (finger) probable
- PF Kyle Kuzma (ankle) probable
- PF Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus) questionable
- C Joel Embiid (finger) out
- SG Josh Richardson (hamstring) out
- Lakers are 36-9 SU and 24-20-1 ATS this season
- Sixers are 29-17 SU and 19-23-4 ATS this season
- Under 23-22 in Lakers games this season
- Under is 24-21-1 in Sixers games this season
Analysis & Pick
This is a dangerous lookahead spot for the Lakers, as the Clippers loom on deck early next week. Los Angeles has performed well on the road trip winning three of four games, but they feasted on some of the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference (Knicks, Nets) and had to come from behind to beat the Rockets. LA’s only loss on the road trip came in blowout fashion against the Celtics.
Philadelphia is getting thinner by the day. Embiid and Richardson will miss at least the next few games while both recover from various ailments. Forkmaz has been a solid replacement off the bench but I question his consistency with extended time in the rotation. For this particular matchup, he will help give the Sixers an outside threat.
The Sixers are 2-0 ATS as a home underdog this season and with the Lakers likely looking ahead to their rematch against Kawhi Leonard, I can see them coming out flat. Lebron will get his and likely surpass Kobe’s scoring mark, ironically enough in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, but the points are too good to pass up here.
PICK: 76ers +4.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith