Instant analysis: Sixers outlast the Clippers in a nail-biter

Joel embiid
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) looks on during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Sixers win 106-103.

Despite playing without the likes of Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, and Dwight Howard, the Sixers were ultimately able to take care of business at home against Doc Rivers’ former team. The Clippers (dealing with their own key absence in Kawhi Leonard) managed to keep things close all the way down to the closing seconds, but failed to convert a game-tying three with the shot clock unplugged.

Right out of the gate, the Sixers looked like a team possessed. They jumped out to a massive first quarter lead, getting up by as many as 17 at one point. LAC started chipping away at the lead as the quarter progressed, but Philadelphia still entered the second period with an 11 point advantage.

Despite the hot start for Philly, the Clippers – almost exclusively led by Paul George and his 39 point performance – battled all evening long. They put up 27 in the second quarter and 30 in the third, bringing the game back within striking distance by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Marcus Morris scored 15 to go along with George in the starting lineup, and Patrick Patterson poured in an impressive 18 off the bench.

On the other side of the ball, the Sixers were once again led to victory by their MVP candidate. Joel Embiid recorded a team-high 36 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, thoroughly having his way with the Clippers’ undersized front court. Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double (12 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists), and Furkan Korkmaz contributed 18 points as he made a rare appearance in Doc Rivers’ starting five.

Down by just one point with roughly 20 seconds to go, it was looking like the Clippers were set up to have a genuine shot at sending the game to overtime. The Sixers had possession of the basketball, but there was obviously plenty of time for LAC to foul, and then attempt a game-tying three. Instead, the Clippers strangely let the clock dwindle all the way down to about 8 seconds before deciding to foul. Danny Green promptly hit both free throws, and then Marcus Morris took a super awkward and contested three-pointer with the game on the line.

Not exactly a well constructed final two possessions for Ty Lue and the Clippers.

Regardless, the Sixers snatch themselves another W as they continue to reinforce their lead atop the Eastern Conference, and Embiid adds another 35+ point performance to his MVP campaign resume. The Sixers get the weekend off, and are back in action against Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Monday night.

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Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire