Sixers quick hitters: Joel Embiid’s triple-double seals dominant win over Lakers

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, left, goes up for a shot past Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadephia 76ers played host to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night. Following their thrilling victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their previous game, the Sixers looked to continue their forward momentum.

In what ended as a blowout by a score of 138-94 in Philadelphia’s favor, the Sixers made put on a show for their home crowd. Simply put, there wasn’t much that went wrong for Joel Embiid and company. Even the early foul trouble the Sixers’ star found himself could not restrict him as he would enjoy one of his best opening quarters of the season.

Nurse’s trust stokes Embiid’s fire

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, left, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joel Embiid has a habit of playing the entiriry of the first quarter of every game. Against Anthony Davis, Embiid was called for two quick, and in both cases questionable, fouls withing the first four minutes of the game. While many head coaches would have 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists.

The Sixers would go on a 21-6 run to end the quarter as Embiid led a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. Embiid’s dominant success outlasted the first quarter however in what could be considered perhaps the best performance of this season.

Making it look effortless at every turn, Joel Embiid put forth an extremely well-rounded and focused performance. Finishing the night with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists without playing a minute of the fourth quarter, there was little question who the stand out star of the night was for Philadelphia—though Tyrese Maxey certainly did his best to compete.

What was most impressive, aside from Embiid’s control on the defensive end, was his fluid and confident approach as a facilitator. His 11 assists were just two away from tying a career-high and he looked as comfortable as ever with the ball in his hands without fixating on getting his own shots up.

The elite two-man game of Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey, left, and Joel Embiid react after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joel Embiid has had a few teammates who he stood out with in the two-man game. JJ Redick and Seth Curry come to mind as players who thrived running DHOs (dribble hand-off) with Embiid, while James Harden was an elite pick-and-roll partner alongside the reigning MVP.

In Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid has found the best of both worlds; a player with whom he can run an elite two-man game whether they run DHOs or pick-and-rolls.

This ability has been among the top keys to the team’s success this season and will continue to be a offensive focal point throughout the rest of the season.

Maxey has immensely exceeded expectations in each and every season since he came into the league. Developing this chemistry and transforming into the perfect complimentary player to Joel Embiid is more than anyone could have asked for, and it very well may have saved “The Process.”

Marcus Morris Sr. cooking?

Philadelphia 76ers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (5) reacts after being called for an offensive foul against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

In what was perhaps his best game as a Sixer, Marcus Morris Sr. was a revelation in the first half. Scoring 11 points on 4/5 shooting—3/3 from beyond the arc, Morris kept the Sixers not only competitive, but dominant against the Lakers during his 10-minute run in the half.

Is this a flash in the pan? Or is Marcus Morris Sr. starting to figure things out? The truth likely lies somewhere in between, but this is now his second quality game in his last three appearances.

It may not last but the Sixers will need every ounce from their hometown veteran while they continue to await Kelly Oubre’s return.