LeBron James became the second player in NBA history to score 38,000 career points, but Joel Embiid had 35 points and 11 rebounds while the Philadelphia 76ers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 113-112 Sunday night for their seventh win in nine games.
Russell Westbrook failed to get off a clean shot or a pass in the final second under defense from Embiid, allowing the 76ers to hold on for their fourth straight road win. James Harden added 24 points and 13 assists for Philadelphia, which swept the season series and beat Los Angeles for the sixth straight time.
James put up 35 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three straight after a five-game winning streak.
James surpassed 38,000 points with a jumper that was part of his 8-for-9 start with 16 points in the first quarter. The Lakers crowd gave him an ovation when the milestone was announced in the next timeout break, and Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers laughingly hugged James in celebration.
James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only members of the NBA’s 38,000-point club, and James will pass Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) atop the career scoring list next month if he remains on his current pace.
Neither team led by more than eight points in a well-played game. Georges Niang hit a 3-pointer on an assist from Embiid with 1:28 left to put Philadelphia up 111-109.
A lengthy video review then overruled a call and resulted in a turnover for James before Embiid drained a 14-foot jumper with 45.5 seconds left. Troy Brown Jr. hit a corner 3-pointer to trim Philly’s lead to one point, and Embiid missed a jumper with Westbrook in his face.
Westbrook drove to the hoop with a chance to win it, but couldn’t get off a shot or a pass, with an apparent crosscourt pass attempt deflecting off Niang’s hands before time ran out.
Westbrook had 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, extending his NBA record with his 198th career triple-double. Westbrook has four triple-doubles off the bench this season, putting him past Detlef Schrempf for the career record for triple-doubles as a reserve.
Tyrese Maxey scored 16 points and Tobias Harris had 15 in Philly’s fourth straight road win over the Lakers since March 2020.
76ers: Rivers used Embiid and the mildly ailing Harden (left heel) and Harris (left knee) even on the second night of a back-to-back that began in Utah. … De’Anthony Melton, the San Fernando Valley native and USC product, went scoreless in 21 minutes.
Lakers: Anthony Davis has now been out for a month, missing his 15th straight game with a foot injury. He worked out on the court before the game in his ramp-up to a return, but Lakers coach Darvin Ham has put no timetable on the process. … The Lakers used their 24th different starting lineup in 43 games this season. … Patrick Beverley missed his second straight game with a non-COVID illness. Los Angeles is still playing without Lonnie Walker (knee) and Austin Reaves (hamstring).
76ers: At Clippers on Tuesday night.
Lakers: Host Houston on Monday night.