39 points while James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
James was facing Philadelphia for the first time since the Sixers made a big push to sign the superstar as a free agent last summer. He and Kuzma both missed the last matchup with Philly on Jan. 29, which the Sixers won 121-105.
“I thought they were going to be very good anyway before they made any moves, before the season even started,” James said. “And they’ve made a bunch of moves to improve their club.”
Fresh off a buzzer-beating win at Boston, the Lakers shot nearly 60 percent and scored 40 points in the first quarter. But fueled by Redick’s four-point play, the Sixers closed the first half on a 19-6 run to take a 76-67 lead into halftime.
Embiid, who was questionable to play because of gastroenteritis, led the charge with 25 points in the first half after lighting up the Lakers for 28 in the teams’ first matchup.
“I must not be a big LA fan,” said Embiid, who had his league-leading 23rd game with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. “It’s fun. I’ve been more consistent against both LA teams.”
Philadelphia’s lead ballooned to 109-94 at the end of the third quarter after T.J. McConnell’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds. The Sixers ran away with the game from there while gleeful fans chanted “Kobe’s better” at James.
“We had too many breakdowns,” James said. “Way too many breakdowns.”
Lakers: Johnson said before the game that he didn’t believe the New Orleans Pelicans engaged in good-faith negotiations at the trade deadline during the Lakers’ pursuit of Anthony Davis. Johnson added that the LA players who were on the trade block are professionals who are capable of moving forward. “This is how this league works,” he said. “They know it. I know it.” ... Mike Muscala, one of two players the Lakers acquired at the deadline, had eight points in 13 minutes against the team he spent the first half of the season with before being dealt . ... Coach Luke Walton said Josh Hart was available after dealing with knee tendinitis, but the former Villanova star did not get into the game.
76ers: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, film director M. Night Shyamalan, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout were in attendance. So was new Philadelphia Union midfielder and Mexican national team star Marco Fabian, who swapped jerseys with fellow Philly newcomer Harris after the game . ... The Sixers scored at least 33 points in each quarter — the first time the team has done so since 1986 . ... Philly finished with 33 assists and seven turnovers.
Simmons believes in magic
Johnson revealed that Simmons has reached out to the Lakers about working out with him this summer to learn more about playing the “position as a big guard.” Pending league approval, Johnson noted he’d be happy to accommodate such a wish.
“I love his game,” Johnson said. “I love his vision.”
Said Simmons: “Trying to learn from somebody like that would be huge.”
Simmons for 3?!?
Perhaps the most surprising part of the game came one minute into the second half when Simmons attempted just his third 3-pointer of the season — and the first that wasn’t an end-of-clock heave.
“I wasn’t shocked by it,” Redick said, before Embiid turned to him and replied, “You sure?”
The shot rimmed out as much of the crowd gasped. Simmons has never made a 3 in his two seasons in the NBA, but believes he’ll have more opportunities to expand his game with Harris joining a star-studded starting lineup alongside him, Redick, Butler and Embiid.
“With this new five I think it’s going to be exciting in terms of what we can do,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to take what they give me.”
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https:// twitter.com/AP—Sports boosted with his 37 point14-rebound performance in a nationally telecast showpiece event.
He was the crown jewel, even if he was not real quick afterward to embrace the notion.
“Our culture was built on sharing the ball, and making sure the ball gets through everybody’s hands,” Embiid said. “If they need me, or if the play is broken down, that’s where I come in. But really my job is to make sure that we are sharing the ball.”
That’s the plan. But what happens when the new-car smell is gone? What happens when so many unsigned stars begin to sense that a four-star, one-basketball lineup can affect their numbers … those in the box scores, those in the bank accounts? What happens after the first two-game losing streak? What happens the first time another star demands to be the franchise gem?
“I think there’s no mystery any more about whether Jimmy Butler can score, or if Tobias can score, or if J.J. can shoot,” Brown said. “They can do it. Their runs are on the board. And so the intellect, the character of this team that can buy into this notion is everything. And when you win, those things take care of themselves, I have learned and completely believe.”
There are examples of that. The Golden State Warriors have been known to lob a complaint or two toward Steve Kerr. And they win. But Brown faces a tough situation with so much star-power looking not just to win on the court, but in the freeagency race. For that, he has set one rule: There is one crown jewel. Not two. Not five.
Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, right, of Australia, goes up for the shot as he is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 143-120.