The Los Angeles Lakers look to do the double over the Philadelphia 76ers
D'Angelo Russell will be key for the Lakers tonight. | USA-TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers look to do the double over the Philadelphia 76ers

The 16-time champions will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins, after beating the Phoenix Suns last time out. Tip-off is 9:30 PM E.T.

BaldeepChahal
Baldeep Chahal

The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Philadelphia 76ers at the Staples Center on Sunday night. 

The Lakers were able to snap their eight-game losing streak after an impressive performance over their bottom of the table counterparts, the Phoenix Suns.

Likewise, the 76ers find themselves second from bottom in the Eastern Conference and struggling to put together any consistency, coming off the back of an 114-108 loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

However, the Sixers have been balling without potential future stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with neither able to make an appearance before the season ends.

Lakers fans, on the other hand have been able to see their young stars play consistently since the trade deadline.

What can both teams expect?

With the young blood of the Lakers impressing recently, more of the same can be expected.

D’Angelo Russell, in particular, has noticeably improved since the all-star break; he scored 28 points with six three-pointers against the Phoenix Suns. Meanwhile Jordan Clarkson bagged 19. Rookie Brandon Ingram and 19-year old second round pick Ivica Zubac chipped in with 14 points each.

Lakers boss Luke Walton was pleased with his side's performance:

There was definitely a focus at the shoot-around today. It was pretty obvious and we talked about it as a group, that they looked locked in. I was expecting the guys to come out and give the effort that they did, honestly.

Joel Embiid has been greatly missed by the 76ers. | USA-TODAY Sports

Philadelphia, however, has shown they can win matches even without Embiid, who was hugely influential before his recent knee injury. In his absence, another player with a promising future, Dario Saric, has stepped up to the table.

The Croatian, along with point guard Nick Stauskas and small forward Robert Covington, have been the main scoring threats for Philly, and the trio will fancy their chances against the young Lakers side.

Meanwhile, the Lakers will look to sweep Philadelphia this season, with the team in purple and gold winning the first match-up 100-89 back in December.

Match-ups to look out for

Ingram vs Covington

Nineteen-year-old Ingram has come under criticism as of late, after being out-shone by Jaylen Brown in the Lakers’ recent clash with the Boston Celtics. Ingram was chosen at 2 in the 2016 draft, with Brown being selected at 3.

Both being small-forwards, naturally the two were compared, with many stating the Lakers should had have chosen the latter.

Brandon has responded though, averaging 13.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists since the defeat.

Covington on the other hand has impressed at times in Simmons’ absence, for example scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 boards against the Trailblazers.

Brandon Ingram in action against the Golden State Warriors. | USA-TODAY Sports

Randle vs Saric

As mentioned earlier, Saric could have a huge part to play in any success for the Sixers in the future.

Julius Randle has also given shown glimpses of star potential, putting together several triple double performances this season at just age 22.

An interesting battle could develop at the power-forward position tomorrow night.

Game day specifics

Excluding their long term injuries, the only man the Sixers could be without tonight is Gerald Henderson. The 29-year-old missed the game against the Los Angeles Clippers but is expected to return tonight.

The Lakers meanwhile have the pleasure of boasting a clean bill of health.

Tip-off is 9:30 PM E.T. tonight, with the game being hosted at the Staples Center.

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