The way the Wells Fargo Center and Joel Embiid exulted after the failure of Harrison Barnes, we guess that the Sixers more than trembled this night against the Kings. Winners 103-101, Doc Rivers players can, once again, thank Joel Embiid, who stands out as a strong candidate for the MVP trophy.
After a very complicated first half, the Cameroonian was able to get up, and his second half or rather his 3rd act is extraordinary. While the Sixers were trailing by 11 points at halftime (61-50), the Sixers star scored 17 points after returning from the locker room. 3-point shots, penetrations, finishing with the fault near the circle… Joel Embiid is just too strong, and Alvin Gentry will say after the meeting that there is “Shaq and Olajuwon” at home.
Defensively, being on the passing lines allows the Sixers to cut outsides off the ball. On the other side, Joel Embiid takes care of everything, and Philly equalizes at 81-81.
Everything has to be redone for Sacramento, and alongside an exceptional Tyrese Haliburton, it is Richaun Holmes who revives the Kings to give a six-point lead (87-81). But Sacramento cracks: six missed shots in a row, four lost balls… The Sixers take advantage of it and Tyrese Maxey takes over from Embiid to validate a 12-0. There are six minutes left to play, and Philly is breathing better (93-87). Especially since the gap will even reach 10 points.
Except that opposite, Haliburton is on fire, and it is he, in the corner, who brings Sacramento to -2 (103-101). On the throw-in, Georges Niang is whistled for five seconds. The ball returns to Sacramento, but Barnes’ last shot fails, and the Sixers win for the 4th time in a row, while the Kings record a 6th loss in a row.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Sixers’ second period. Everyone knows this team isn’t the most consistent in the NBA. But tonight, after missing their first period and up to 17 points behind, the Sixers showed a lot of character in the 3rd quarter. More aggressive, they found Joel Embiid more easily. Despite a real fright at the end of the match, they managed to hold on.
– The Kings’ disastrous away record. After a good start to the game, the Kings lowered their flag when they returned from the locker room. As if this team no longer knew how to win. It’s a shame and their record away from home shows that they lack a culture of winning. They thus remain on 11 defeats in a row away from home, and have won only six matches away from their bases this year. Impossible to get involved in the “play-in” race when you travel so badly.
✅ Joel Embid. We don’t know if he will be MVP at the end of the season, but he is currently on another planet. Even when he is discreet, as in the first half, he is able to react and hover over the meeting. His 3rd quarter is exceptional, and we feel a real hold on his team but also on the opponents. Upon arrival, 36 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists!
✅ Tyrese Maxey. He does not perform exceptionally well, and he has often been overwhelmed by Tyrese Haliburton. But it was he who tipped the balance on Philly’s side at the start of the 4th quarter when he scored 7 of the Sixers’ 12 straight points. A sober game.
✅ Tyrese Haliburton. He could have been the hero of his team, but he failed to shoot 3-pointers. While its leaders have ended discussions with the Sixers for a possible exchange for Ben Simmons, the “sophomore” was dazzling throughout the match, and we will particularly remember his 14 points in the last quarter. Maybe he had a message to send…
⛔Buddy Hield. He too was cited to join the Sixers, but the Bahamas player missed his match: 1/8 on shots for him. Above all, we will remember a certain nonchalance and a great lack of aggressiveness.
Philadelphia (30-19) : The Sixers host Memphis on Monday.
Sacramento (18-33) : Back home to welcome New York on Monday.