Sixers-Lakers 5 Things: Trying to Match Saturday's Effort

The Sixers (23-42) get right back to work tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers (25-40) at Staples Center (9:30 p.m./CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

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1. 'A' for effort
The Sixers put forth another strong effort on this road trip only to walk away empty handed yet again.

The Sixers battled with the LA Clippers on Saturday afternoon and even took a lead into the fourth quarter before ultimately suffering a 112-110 loss. The Sixers were outscored 37-21 in the final period.

Not even a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds from Richaun Holmes were enough to get the Sixers in the win column on this road trip. However, they did earn respect from one of the NBA's better teams.

"You have to find a way to match that energy," Blake Griffin said. "That team is incredibly well-coached and has so much young talent and they play so hard. If you show up and expect to just beat them, you're going to get beat. That's what is awesome about that team. They are a lot of fun to watch."

2. D-Loading is rolling
Speaking of fun to watch, that's exactly what Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell has been lately.

The former No. 2 overall pick has been on a roll since the All-Star break. Russell is averaging 21.9 points, 5.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals in the Lakers' seven games after the break.

Russell is coming off a 28-point effort in which he drilled six three-pointers during the Lakers' 122-110 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Any attempt the Sixers make in slowing down the Lakers will have to start with Russell.

3. Winner is a loser?
Despite both teams being well outside of the playoff picture, this matchup is significant in the standings for both sides.

The Sixers still hold the Lakers' protected first-round pick from the Michael Carter-Williams trade. After not conveying the previous two seasons, the pick is top-three protected for the 2017 draft.

The Lakers currently hold the second-worst record in the NBA but are only 1½ games behind the Suns and three behind the Sixers and Magic in the standings.

While the odds suggest the Sixers will have to wait until next season when the pick is unprotected to cash in, Sunday night's outcome will be one to watch.

4. Injuries
Gerald Henderson (hip) is a game-time decision. Tiago Splitter (calf), Joel Embiid (knee), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

The Lakers have no players listed on the injury report.

5. This and that
• The Sixers are looking for a second straight split of the season series with the Lakers after a 100-89 loss back on Dec. 16.

• The Sixers shot 36.4 percent from the field and 19.4 percent from three-point range in the season's first matchup.

• Lakers forward Julius Randle has averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds against the Sixers in three career meetings.

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