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Massive rally, defensive stand leads Lakers surging past depleted 76ers

The Los Angeles looked like they were in trouble early on Tuesday night, in a game against a depleted opponent too.

The Lakers found themselves in an early 13-point hole vs. the Philadelphia 76ers — who were missing Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson all due to injury — despite holding a homecourt advantage at the Staples Center with a healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis out on the court.

Finally, though, the Lakers took off, using a 22-4 rally over the final 5:18 of the first half to surge ahead and grab a double-digit lead by halftime. They scored the first 10 points in the third quarter, too, to grab a 21-point lead in an insane swing. 

By then, the shorthanded 76ers were too far out of it. The Lakers cruised to a 120-107 win.

“We started getting into a groove offensively when we started playing defense,” Davis said on TNT after the win. “We were terrible in the first quarter. They had 14 attempts, and they made probably six or seven threes in the first quarter and we wasn’t locked into our game plan. So we had to come out in the second quarter and get it going ... We can’t afford to rely on the offense as a buyout for our defense.”

Glenn Robinson led the 76ers with 25 points off the bench, shooting 10-of-15 from the field. Tobias Harris added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Davis led the Lakers with 37 points 13 rebounds, shooting 13-of-19 from the field. James finished with 22 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

The Lakers have now won nine of their last 10 games, the only loss being a 17-point blowout to the Memphis Grizzlies. Their next few games, however, will provide an excellent challenge for a team looking to make waves in the postseason — as the Lakers will host the Milwaukee Bucks, Clippers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets all in the next two weeks.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during their win against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at Staples Center on Tuesday. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

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