Five takeaways from the Lakers’ 121-105 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers:
1. LeBron James is supposed to practice today with the Lakers, leaving many to wonder if the small forward will play Thursday night against the Clippers after missing the last 17 games with a strained groin.
Lakers coach Luke Walton was asked if Wednesday’s practice would be the final test for James to play Thursday.
“No, we’re looking at as we’re going to practice again,” Walton said late Tuesday night. “We’ll do some full-court scrimmaging again, see how he feels. And no matter what happens [Wednesday], the decision won’t be made [Wednesday]. It’ll be about how he feels later that night, into what he feels like the next day when he wakes up, more importantly. So, not a final test, [but] just another day of seeing if he’s ready yet.”
James practiced Monday and participated in the team’s shoot-around Tuesday.
Since recovering from his injury, James has normally arrived at games just before tip-off and has sat on the bench cheering his teammates.
But on Tuesday night, James was seen in the locker room before the game wearing his workout gear before heading to get treatment from the Lakers trainers.
He’ll likely practice today and at the Lakers’ shoot-around Thursday.
One source who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter stipulated that given the mercurial nature of a groin injury, it’s difficult to know for sure how James’ body will react to this week’s practices. But James hasn’t had any setbacks during the rehabilitation process.
2. Kyle Kuzma eased his way down the Staples Center hallway after the Lakers lost to the 76ers, his strained left hip having kept him out of his second consecutive game.
He had tried to go, but was unable to. Kuzma’s return still remains uncertain.
“He tried to go through shoot-around [Tuesday], wasn’t moving well,” Walton said. “We got him out of there and he got treatment the rest of the day. He got treatment [Tuesday night] and we’ll see how he’s feeling [Wednesday].”
3. From the start against Philadelphia, the Lakers didn’t take care of the basketball, putting them in a hole they never were able to recover from.
The Lakers gave the ball away nine times in the first quarter, a big reason why they got down by 21 points. The turnovers led to 17 first-quarter points for the 76ers.
For the game, the Lakers had 21 points, leading to 34 points for the 76ers.
Rajon Rondo had five turnovers, Lance Stephenson four and Brandon Ingram three.
“We definitely gave them momentum,” Ingram said. “I was a big factor when I turned the ball over….It got contagious and we continued to turn the ball over a little bit.”
4. JaVale McGee had a strong offensive outing against the 76ers, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
He was seven for 12 from the field and three for three from the free-throw line.
5. Rondo had an up-and-down game.
He had just five points and was just two for eight from the field. He was a minus-11 in the plus-minus department.
But Rondo had 11 assists and seven rebounds.