Sixers stall Pacers behind big performance by bench, Harden

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, left, blocks a shot by Indiana Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After a horrendous 0-3 start to the season, the Philadelphia 76ers have finally found their first win tonight as they defeated the Indiana Pacers. With the win, the Sixers have begun the process of righting the ship after their slow start to the season.

From the jump, it was clear that the Sixers had a different approach tonight. Tobias Harris, for one, though he struggled with his shot from deep, was aggressive and displayed a quick trigger early and often.

The game would begin as a back-and-forth affair, with the Pacers’ offense keeping tempo with the Sixers’ up until the five-minute mark of the quarter. From there, De’Anthony Melton and Danuel House would enter the game to join James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Montrezl Harrell — who had recently replaced Joel Embiid on the court.

House would instantly make a difference splashing a much-needed three just seven seconds into his night. He would follow that up with a tip-in, and the Sixers’ bench was off and rolling from there.

De’Anthony Melton, Montrezl Harrell, Georges Niang — who would soon replace Tobias Harris, plus, of course, Danuel House, would combine for 18 points in the final five-and-a-half minutes of play. This would just be the beginning of their big night, however, as they would finish with 36 combined points.

As the game continued, the Sixers’ defense became more and more stifling. It was a far cry from the first three games in the best possible way for Doc Rivers’ squad. The entire team looked connected and active, seemingly taking PJ Tucker’s words from Saturday night to heart.

The Sixers starters would soon join the fun as James Harden would end the half on a triple-double watch, and Joel Embiid would put up a strong 11 points. It was far from a perfect quarter, but the Sixers would still hold a 14 lead come the fourth quarter.

That lead began to dwindle to start the fourth quarter as the Pacers would begin on a 14-9 run. Despite this early trouble and continued foul trouble for Joel Embiid, James Harden would take the reigns for Philadelphia, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter alone.

In all, Harden would finish the night with 29 points, 11 assists, and just one rebound shy of a triple-double as the Philadelphia 76ers would defeat the Indiana Pacers by a score of 120-106 for the team’s first win of the season.

After the game, Doc Rivers spoke on what worked well for the Sixers in their first win.

Yeah, much better. Pace was better, and it helps when the shots go in.

Doc Rivers

It’s a simple answer but understandably so, as that’s what the key to the Sixers’ victory tonight was, taking care of the simple things;

Rivers — later echoed by James Harden and Joel Embiid — stated that one ensure everyone touched the ball was a goal going into the game.

The Sixers will next travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors in back to back games on both Wednesday and Friday.