The Philadelphia 76ers(5-2) made it three in a row after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers(3-4), 113-103, on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Without their top two leading scorers in Joel Embiid(rest) and Tobias Harris(Health and Safety Protocols), the 76ers were still able to get it done. Philadelphia had seven players in double figures led by Seth Curry’s 23 points.
The Sixers had a 10-point lead in the fourth before the Blazers cut it to three with just over four minutes left. However, Philly would close the game on a 9-2 run to get the victory.
Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom line of Philly’s win over Portland.
The Great for the 76ers:
-Seth Curry scored seven of his 23 points in the fourth. This was Curry’s third game of 20 points or more this season. He was 10/17 from the field, including 3/10 from downtown.
-Georges Niang had a season-high 21 points, grabbed five rebounds and five assists off the bench. Niang had his first 20-5-5 game of his career. He’s been a great addition off Philly’s bench and was huge on Monday night.
-Andre Drummond stepped in for Embiid and was big-time against the Blazers. The nine-year veteran had a loaded stat line with 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and one block. This is the first game a player has posted a 10-15-5-5 line in the league since the 2018-19 season (Stathead).
Turnovers: Philadelphia forced 15 Portland turnovers, with 11 coming by way of the steal. The 76ers scored 17 points off turnovers on Monday night.
Sharing is caring: Without Embiid and Harris, Philadelphia needed to share the ball and get everybody involved. The Sixers had a team season-high 34 assists of 43 field goals. Since the 2017-18 season, Philadelphia is 67-10, when they have 30-plus assists. (Stathead).
“Yeah, it was great. I was joking with Michael Rubin; I said, ‘you only had $105 million not in the game tonight,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “So, it was just a good team effort. The guys, we went with some crazy lineups—a lot of small ball. [Andre Drummond] was fantastic in his role. It was one of those games where I thought every single guy did something to help us win the game. They kind of stay within their roles. They understood what we needed. Getting to the paint. Creating plays.”
The Not So Great for the 76ers:
The fans: With Ben Simmons still on the roster, the fans chanting “We want Lillard” is a little inappropriate. However, I get it, but in the end, Lillard is a Blazer, and you don’t yell for an opposing player to come to Philly while he’s on another team’s roster.
This was a game the 76ers would have lost last season. Drummond is the best backup center Philly has had for Embiid, and he paid dividends last night. Great win for the 76ers, and it showed how much deeper Philadelphia is than a year ago.
Philadelphia concludes their four-game homestand on Wednesday against the new-look Chicago Bulls.
Best of the Rest:
Furkan Korkmaz added 15 points and five assists in place of Harris, and Shake Milton scored 10 points off the bench.
Norman Powell led the Blazers with 22 points, and C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard added 20 points apiece; Lillard also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.