The Sixers lost twice in three days at Staples Center this week. The Clippers did the deed Sunday and the Lakers followed up Tuesday.
For Philly coach Brett Brown, the sweep wasn’t all bad, for one interesting reason.
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Brown told reporters after the Sixers’ 120-107 loss to the Lakers that facing two of the top teams in the West late in the season was like playoff basketball, something Philly is on track to experience this season.
“Sadistically, we love it, like, really,” he said. “You really . . . want to figure out what life looks like in the playoffs? Do what we just did: go play the Clippers on the road, go play the Lakers on the road, and I like it, because it’s real.”
The Lakers put away the Sixers in the second quarter Tuesday, outscoring them 37-19 in the period to take an 11-point halftime lead. LA never trailed again after going ahead in the first half.
“The intensity that the Lakers came out with in the second period after we had a pretty good first period, that is playoff physicality, that is playoff defense, and offensively we didn’t respond to that,” Brown said before adding a graphic description of the Sixers’ play.
Brown left out the fact that the team played short-handed both nights. Joel Embiid (shoulder) and Ben Simmons (back) were out for the two games and Josh Richardson (concussion) did not play Tuesday. A six-point loss to the Clippers and a bad quarter against the Lakers aren’t the worst results, then.
Brown also has the luxury of letting losses become teaching moments. Philadelphia (37-25) is sixth in the East but leads the seventh-place Nets, who won’t have Kyrie Irving the remainder of the season, by nine games. The Sixers are 2 1/2 games behind the Heat for the fourth seed and home-court advantage in the first round. They are 28-2 at Wells Fargo Center.
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