Game Preview: Sixers seek revenge vs. the Pelicans after being wrecked in NOLA

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled while making a basket, as he is covered by New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez and guard CJ McCollum (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Sixers vs. Pelicans game info

Who: Pelicans (22-13) @ Sixers (21-14) 

When: Monday, January 2nd at 7:00 PM EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

How to watch: NBC Sports Philly

Latest with the Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off an impressive road win in Oklahoma City without James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Against the young Thunder squad, Philly had control from the start, never allowing OKC to lead at any point of the game. Joel Embiid earned the fifth triple-double of his career in this game. He scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out ten assists.

Tobias Harris led the Sixers in scoring (23), while Josh Giddey was the top scorer (20) for the Thunder. Dynamic guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, was held to 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting. This was in large part because of Matisse Thybulle getting the start in the absence of P.J. Tucker.

Thybulle, a defensive specialist for Philly, made life difficult for the Thunder’s top scorer on the season. Thybulle also had three 3-pointers in the game (3-for-3), raising his shooting average beyond the arc to 35.9 percent. Another defensive menace for Philly, De’Anthony Melton, had three steals, making it 11 times this season where he’s recorded three steals in a game. In this category, he is tied for first in the NBA. Melton has been a pleasant surprise for the 76ers this season.

Collectively, the 76ers dominated points in the paint (66-42) and caused OKC to turn the ball over 16 times. According to Stathead, after the Sixers limited the Thunder to 96 points, Philly is now 6-1 in games where opposing teams score less than 100 points.

Latest with the Pelicans

New Orleans is coming off a rough road loss in Memphis. Going into this matchup versus Ja Morant and the Grizzlies, the Pelicans had played three games in four nights. Fatigue could explain why there was a fourth-quarter collapse for Willie Green’s team.

As Ja Morant gave the home crowd a superstar performance with 32 points and nine dimes, the top scorers for New Orleans looked mortal. Zion Williamson had only 20 points and nine rebounds, while C.J. McCollum scored only 10 points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Collectively, the Pelicans allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 51% from the field and gave up a total of 52 rebounds; 21 of them went to Steven Adams. Memphis dominated the paint, scoring 74 points compared to only 44 for New Orleans. The Pelicans’ performance on this night was far different from their previous game against the Sixers.

Last time they met

In New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center on Friday night, the Sixers lost 116-127. C.J. McCollum and Zion Williamson went off on the Sixers’ defense. Zion scored 36 points, while McCollum scored 42. The most impressive stat for McCollum was his 11-for-16 shooting beyond the arc. 

Joel Embiid scored 37 points, and James Harden recorded ten assists in the matchup versus the Pelicans. That night Embiid went for his 12th straight game of at least 20 points scored.

Georges Niang, one of the Sixers’ key reserves, hit a pair of 3-pointers. Versus the Pelicans, Niang became the first bench player in Philly’s franchise history to hit a 3-pointer in 30 straight games, according to Stathead. 

In the end, though, Willie Green’s team dismantled the Sixers without key players like Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, and Larry Nance, Jr. in the lineup. 

Injury report

The Pelicans will be without Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr. once again. The Sixers do not have any injuries to report as of this moment and should have a full roster.