Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid continued to be his dominant self Friday night against the Spurs. Embiid had his sixth straight game of 30 points and his 13th 30-point game of the season as he tallied 31 points, 12 boards, and seven assists.
Ultimately, the 76ers(22-16) would win their sixth straight after defeating San Antonio(15-23) 119-100 at Wells Fargo Center.
Embiid’s 30-point streak ranks second in the league this season to LeBron James(seven games).
In addition, Embiid joins Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only 76ers to score at least 30 points in six straight games.
“There’s guys that trust me to make plays,” Embiid said postgame. “Like, I was telling them it’s not about scoring, it’s about making the right plays. These days teams don’t play man an; they play double. Stay aggressive, play double team and get shots off; you know I gotta get my guys open and make their job easier.”
The four-time All-Star is playing at an elite level, and before Friday’s win over San Antonio, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich showed Embiid some love.
“He’s obviously a wonderful player, and he’s playing some of his best basketball for sure,” Popovich said. “Everybody tries to guard him, front him, double team him, try to limit his catches, try not to foul him. All these kinds of things, but the game starts, and he scores 30 a night.
Embiid is getting it done for the 76ers, and after some COVID issues, which caused this team to struggle, Philadelphia is slowly climbing up the standings, and Embiid is the biggest reason.
The 76ers saw three players with stat lines of at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists against San Antonio. Embiid(31 pointts, 12 rebounds, seven assists), Seth Curry(23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), and Tobias Harris(23 points, seven rebounds, five assists).
Per Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time since Jan. 18, 1991, where the 76ers had three players post such stat lines in the same game.
Watch below as Popovich talks Embiid:
On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers(8-4) hosted the world champion, Milwaukee Bucks(5-6).
However, Philadelphia was without their top three scorers in Joel Embiid(Health and Safety Protocols), Tobias Harris(Health and Safety Protocols), and Seth Curry(Foot contusion). Also, they were missing Matisse Thybulle(Health and Safety Protocols), and of course, Ben Simmons.
Philly battled for the whole game but did not have enough as they were outscored 27-16 in the fourth and fell to Milwaukee 118-109.
Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Philly’s loss to Milwaukee:
The Great for the 76ers:
-Tyrese Maxey did everything in his power to lead the Sixers to victory. The second-year guard led Philadelphia with a game-high-tying and season-high 31 points (12-24 FG), including a career-best four made threes, along with five boards and four assists. Maxey set a new single-quarter career-high with 17 points in the first period (7-9 FG, 3-4 3FG).
-Georges Niang scored 12 of his season-high 21 points against the Bucks off the bench, including five threes. According to Stathead, this is the 22nd time of Niang’s career where he has scored at least 10 points in a half.
-Andre Drummond has been great this season. He had another double-double with 17 points, a game-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. This is Drummond’s second straight game of at least 20 rebounds(25 rebounds against Knicks on Monday night), leaving him tied for the fifth-most double-digit rebounding games in the league this year. Through 12 games, Drummond is the second player with consecutive games of at least 10 points and 20 rebounds.
-Shake Milton started for the injured Seth Curry and had a solid performance with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
Not so Great for the 76ers:
Philadelphia did not shoot the ball all that great on Tuesday night, which is understandable. The 76ers shot 41% from the field.
Look, it would have been amazing if the 76ers had won this game, and while there are no moral victories in this league, Philadelphia might have earned a moral victory. Without Embiid and Harris, it’s going to be tough, but maybe they can find a way to steal a few games without their top players.
“I don’t know if anything surprises me with these guys,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “They play hard; they try to figure it out… Tyrese [Maxey] was sensational tonight, kept attacking, Georges [Niang] gave us everything he had, I thought [Drummond] offensively on the glass was really good.”
Philadelphia finishes their three-game homestand on Thursday night against the Raptors.
Best of the Rest:
Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Antetokounmpo has now scored at least 30 points in four games this season; Grayson Allen set a season-high with 25 points in the game, and Bobby Portis added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
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.
Last season, Mavericks G Josh Richardson came to the 76ers and was expected to be key piece to a championship-caliber team. Philadelphia acquired Richardson in a trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Heat. However, things did not go the way many expected for Richardson and the 76ers in the 2019-20 season.
The 76ers would get swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, and from there, the organization made changes. Philadelphia fired their head coach Brett Brown and hired Doc Rivers to replace him. Also, they brought in Daryl Morey to be the team’s president of basketball of operations. With changes in the front office and on the bench, you knew there would be changes with the roster, which included trading Richardson to the Mavericks for Seth Curry on draft day.
According to Richardson, who averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 55 games (53 starts) last season with the 76ers, he had an idea that he could get moved.
“I kinda had an idea that something was going to happen, but it was between a few teams, so I wasn’t really sure,” Richardson said via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “I’m really glad I ended up here. Hopefully, I can bring some positive things to this city and to this team.”
While things did not work out the way he wanted them to in Philly, the 27-year-old Richardson enjoyed his time with the 76ers, but he feels Dallas’ system will fit him better.
“I’m thankful to the city of Philly for everything they did for me and that organization,” he said. “They have great players there, so it was great to be able to play with some of the best players in the league. Coming here is going to be a different look for myself. It’s a different playstyle: I think it kind of fits me more.”
Ultimately, the fifth-year veteran believes the trade that sent him to Dallas and Curry to Philly will benefit both teams.
“I think that Seth(Curry) will fit in Philly well because he’s a great spot shooter, and I think that’s one of their big things they’ll need,” Richardson said. “I think me coming here and him going there was good for both parties, but I think a change of scenery is nice.”
This is a move that probably will benefit both teams. Philly needed shooting, and Curry fills that void, while the Mavericks needed a reliable, athletic defender, who can score, and Richardson does that for them. So, yes, Richardson is right. The Mavericks and 76ers will be happy with this move.
The Philadelphia 76ers and new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey were very busy on draft day in the NBA. According to reports, the team will send Al Horford and picks to the Thunder for Danny Green. On draft night, Philly sent Josh Richardson and the draft rights to Tyler Bey, the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, to the Mavericks in exchange for guard Seth Curry.
With Richardson, the Mavericks get an athletic guard who can score a little bit and defend. The 27-year-old Richardson averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 55 games (53 starts). Richardson played four seasons in Miami before being dealt to Philadelphia as part of a four-team deal last summer. The five-year can opt out of his contract at season’s end.
The 76ers get shooting with Curry, and the six-year guard gets to play for his father-in-law, Doc Rivers. Curry is married to Rivers’ daughter, Callie. Last season, the 30-year-old Curry averaged 12.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 64 games in his second stint with the Mavericks, and more importantly for the 76ers, Curry shot 45% from three-point land.
Philadelphia is looking to reshape their roster, and you wonder if there are more moves to be made. To be able to unload the 34-year-old Horford, who signed with Philadelphia last offseason and had three-years, $81 million left on his contract, is incredible. If there was any contract that seemed unmovable, it was Horford’s deal with the 76ers. While it cost him picks, Morey got it done. We’ll see what’s next in Philadelphia, but you get the sense that Morey is not finished remaking this team.