Joel Embiid, riding quite the hot streak, lead the Sixers to victory in Brooklyn tonight over Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Nets.
With Sixers’ coach Doc Rivers in Health and Safety Protocols, along with assistant coach Sam Cassell, the Philadelphia 76ers turned to assistant coach Dan Burke to lead the Sixers into Brooklyn to take on the red hot duo of James Harden and Kevin Durant. Thanks to Embiid and Maxey, the 76ers secure a 110-102 win in Brooklyn.
Both Harden and Durant were active for the Nets in the first quarter, each contributing 7 points. Harden also contributed 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the first quarter, putting himself in a triple-double watch by the end of the first quarter.
The Sixers came out of the gate hot, with Joel Embiid as the center-piece, dropping in 16 points in the first quarter on 6/9, shooting from the floor and shooting 2/2 from deep. Tyrese Maxey was the next leading score for Philly in the first, contributing 9 points. Matisse Thybulle also played well in the first, contributing 2 steals and a block while trying to contain leading scorer Kevin Durant. The Sixers carried a 39-31 lead going into the second quarter.
The 76ers got nearly no help from their bench unit besides Andre Drummond. Drummond finished the half with 10 points and 4 rebounds in only 8 minutes of play, while the rest of the 76ers bench, made up of Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang, and Shake Milton, contributed 0 points, 1 rebound, and 2 assists. Milton shot a miserable 0/5 from the field in the half.
Kevin Durant and James Harden continued to go to work on the 76ers, with KD and the Beard each contributing 6 more points. By halftime, the Nets starters were also playing significantly better than the Sixers. Durant and Harden each had 13 points, with Harden supplying 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Nicolas Claxton contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds while playing next to LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in the half.
The Sixers starters were led by Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey at the half, with Joel scoring 22 points and Maxey dropping in 11. Embiid, Maxey, and Andre Drummond scored 43 of the Sixers’ 55 first-half points, accounting for 78.1% of the Sixers offense, with the trio of Matisse Thybulle, Seth Curry, and Tobias Harris with only 4 points each.
With Curry shooting 1/7 and Tobias shooting 2/9 in the first half. Thanks to the Sixers’ shooting woes and the rebounding discrepancy of 30-19 in favor of the Nets, the Sixers’ lead shrunk to 55-54 going into the half.
In the third quarter, Curry finally came back to life as he finally started to seem like himself and hitting his first 3 of the game. The Sixers played solid enough to keep up with the Nets in the third, outsourcing the Nets 29-28 to maintain their lead.
Sixers center Joel Embiid did take a scary fall in the third, tweaking his ankle on a post up against Blake Griffin with 2:41 left to play in the third. As the breath of every Sixers fan was collectively held, it wasn’t until roughly 5:44 in the 4th quarter that Joel Embiid returned to the court, looking dominant as ever as he iced the game on a putback and-1.
Embiid ended the game with 34 points and 7 rebounds, while the true Robin to Embiid’s Batman finally emerged in Tyrese Maxey’s 25 points and 5(!) three-pointers made, while Seth Curry poured in 13 second-half points to make up for his disappointing first half. Tobias Harris ended with 9 points on 4-14 shooting.
The Sixers took 19 more shots than the Brooklyn Nets tonight, shooting the ball 42/100 from the field (42.0%) compared to the Brooklyn Nets 37-81 (45.7%) from the field. A big reason for the Sixers’ win was their ability to force turnovers against this Nets team and create offense from then. The Nets had 17 turnovers while the 76ers only had 7 in interim head coach Dan Burke’s first game as Sixers head coach.
Joel Embiid also recorded his 7th road game in a row with 30+ points, the longest streak by any player in the last 2 years. Embiid’s dominance has been in full force this year, showing not only Philly fans but also the league that he is still a force to be reckoned with.
Joel Embiid and the Sixers’ next game will be on January 3rd, 2022, in Philadelphia, where the Sixers will take on the Houston Rockets at 7:00 pm EST.