76ers lead late but ‘happy’ for chance to beat Lakers in OT

PHILADELPHIA — Shortly after his 76 players ran wild in a 133-122 overtime win over the Lakers, coach Doc Rivers settled into a chair before the press conference and before he could answer a question, summed up how his night had been.

“I thought we were going to start this about 15 minutes ago,” Rivers said with a smile.

So did everyone else inside the Wells Fargo Center on a Friday night when Joel Embiid Split a pair of free throws to make it 119-110 with 34.8 seconds to go into regulation.

From there, however, a comedy of errors allowed the Lakers to not only get back in the game but have a chance at winning it in regulation.

The Sixers made three turnovers in 21.6 seconds, as well as splitting a pair of free throws, to give their opponents life.

“Just trying to figure out what the hell was going on, honestly,” Embiid, who tallied 38 points and 12 rebounds in 46 minutes, said when asked what was going through his mind during Philadelphia’s fourth quarter meltdown. “It should never have been in this situation. But I’m glad we had another chance, went to overtime and shut it down.”

While Philadelphia was doing their part to give Los Angeles a chance, the Lakers did a lot to help their cause, getting a layup from Patrick Beverlya pair of free throws from Anthony Davis and index 3 of Austin Reeves to pull it to within 120-117 with 10.5 seconds remaining.

At that point, Reeves screwed up Mathis Thibul On a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left, the sophomore sent forward to the free throw line with a chance to tie the score. But after Reeves made his first two free throws, he missed the third. On the following catches of the ball, it ends up being touched last LeBron James – Giving Philadelphia possession with 5.5 seconds left and a chance to finally field the ball.

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While that, Tobias Harris He lofted a pass into the air towards Embiid after he had nowhere to go with the ball – only for it to hit Embiid in the face and bounce away.

The ball ended up in the hands of Davis, who then made an exchange and dedication Russell Westbrook before being attacked by Harris with 3.7 seconds left.

But with a chance to put the Lakers ahead 1 — and on the brink of a truly improbable win because Philadelphia didn’t have any timeouts remaining — Davis missed the second free throw, allowing the 76er new life and sending the game into overtime instead.

“It definitely hurts,” said Davis, who finished with 31 points — 25 of them after halftime — 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 36 minutes.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to make a free throw, especially in this kind of situation. I’m still bummed that I missed it.”

As dramatic as the endgame sequence was, the overtime period ended up being a bit anticlimactic. Rather than continue their descent into madness in the extra session, Philadelphia got its bearings right away, outscoring Los Angeles 13-2 in the extra session, as Westbrook missed more shots himself (going 0-for-5) than the 76ers took as a . A team in the overtime period (going 3-for-4, plus 7-for-7 from the free throw line).

Honestly, maybe it was just the disappointment caused by blowing that up [lead] Harris said, when asked how he and his teammates got back on track.

“We knew we needed to do anything possible to get out of here victoriously.”

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The guard’s marching game was overshadowed by a freak collapse in the final moments De Anthony Meltonwho finished with 33 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 8-for-12 on 3-pointers, to go along with seven steals.

“Honestly, my teammates were just finding me,” Milton said. “Some of these lanes, and the way they went through, I mean, I’m sure they didn’t think they were going to go through. But they kept crossing, and they kept finding me and they kept leaving me open so I kept shooting at it and shooting at it with confidence.”

Although the 76ers pulled it off, after a disastrous last-gasp performance from Monday’s loss in Houston against the mediocre Rockets, coupled with their weaknesses of late this year, Rivers said those issues will be worked out moving forward.

“All our guards, we all have to come to the ball,” Rivers said. “We have to be open. We have to play through mistakes at the end of the game… It can’t happen. We’ll fix that.”

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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