Per the NBA, the biggest margin that James had lost by coming into Monday’s matchup was 42 points, when the Lakers were thrashed by the Indiana Pacers in 2019.
The 76ers were fueled by a triple-double from reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, who posted an impressive stat line of 30 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and one block while shooting 60% from the floor.
His co-star Tyrese Maxey, whose increased on-court production coincided with the Sixers trading James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this season, also poured in 31 points to go with eight assists.
After a quick start, the Lakers never looked like they had a chance and trailed the 76ers the entire night after five minutes had gone by in the first quarter, but the game was bookended by two dominant quarters from Philadelphia. The first quarter set the tone as the Sixers outscored LA 32-19, while an utterly devastating fourth that ended 40-14 in Philadelphia’s favor put the already lopsided game well beyond reach.
The Lakers’ fourth quarter woes were compounded by the fact that they were dominated by an Embiid-less Sixers lineup, as the six-time All-Star rested the whole final period.
Philadelphia has now won their last seven against the Lakers and LA was dealt its worst loss in the 290-game history of this fixture.
The win had an extra layer of meaning for Embiid, who has stated on several occasions that Lakers icon Kobe Bryant inspired him to play basketball.
“That’s my favorite team,” he said after the game. “Any time I play against them, you want to get the win. But I do it every night anyways against every other team.”
Despite the loss, James managed to break yet another record in his historic career, as he became the NBA’s all-time leader in regular season and playoff minutes played, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous record of 66,300.
This did little to improve the four-time NBA champion’s mood after the game, however.
“That doesn’t mean much to me,” the “King” bluntly said.
James, who is in his 21st NBA season and turns 39 next month, had 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting with five assists, a steal and block. He also knocked down a three-pointer on the night, one of only seven made by the Lakers, compared to Philadelphia’s 22 triples.
“We got killed on the three-point line,” said James. “They made shots. Give them credit.”
LA is now 10-8 on the season and sits in eighth place in the competitive Western Conference. They will look to bounce back against the lowly Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, while the 12-5 Sixers will visit the New Orleans Pelicans.