LeBron says 'a lot' needs to change for Lakers after worst loss of career

lebron says 'a lot' needs to change for lakers after worst loss of career

LeBron says ‘a lot’ needs to change for Lakers after worst loss of career

PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James never endured a lopsided basketball defeat like the one he suffered with Los Angeles in Philadelphia.

James has lost big before. His Miami Heat once got trounced by 36 points in the NBA Finals. The Indiana Pacers beat James and the Lakers by 42 in 2019.

READ Embiid, hot-shooting Sixers embarrass Lakers in a 44-point romp

But this blowout was an all-timer: By the time Joel Embiid clinched a triple-double in the third quarter, the 76ers were on their way to a 138-94 win over the Lakers on Monday night (Tuesday, Manila time), the 44-point loss now the worst in James’ career that dates to 2003.

“What needs to change in order for that to not happen again? A lot,” James said without elaborating.

The miserable milestones piled up for the Lakers. It was their worst loss to the 76ers in 290 games in the series.

It was so bad, James didn’t even grab a rebound.

OK, one more: The 76ers beat the Lakers for the seventh straight time.

“That’s my favorite team,” Embiid said, again noting he learned of basketball through Kobe Bryant. “Any time I play against them, you want to get the win. But I do it every night anyways against every other team.”

lebron says 'a lot' needs to change for lakers after worst loss of career

joel embiid anthony davis

PHOTO: AP

The box score tells part of the story. The 76ers hit 22 3-pointers to just seven for the Lakers, and even when Embiid sat out the entire fourth quarter, the 76ers still outscored them 40-14.

“We got killed on the 3-point line,” James said. “They made shots. Give them credit.”

The rest? It was just a lethargic effort from a team that seemed resigned early — the 76ers led by 25 in the first half — that was it was a good night to throw in the towel.

“Your competitive spirit has to be at a high level,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “It almost has to be bulletproof to a certain degree. You have to meet force with force. They outhustled us.”

Embiid triple-double

The reigning NBA MVP, Embiid finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth career triple-double. It was Embiid’s first of the season and his seventh career game with 10-plus assists.

Embiid’s anticipated showdown with James never really materialized. James scored 18 points in 29 minutes but nothing he did could make a dent in the 76ers’ lead. He has now played more minutes than any player in NBA history, with playoff time included.

“That doesn’t mean much to me,” James said.

Tyrese Maxey scored 31 points for the 76ers. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

“You certainly don’t go into a game like this expecting that kind of game to break out,” 76ers coach Nick Nurse said. “When the 3 ball starts going in the way they did early, I think that just energizes everybody.”

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