Sixers come alive in the fourth quarter and beat the Kings 119-111
The Philadelphia 76ers did not get off to the best start last night against the Sacramento Kings. They allowed the Kings to score 71 points on 28-48 shooting, including 11-20 from beyond the arc, in the first half. The Sixers defense could not stop De’Aaron Fox, who finished the night with 34 points and 10 assists on 13-30 shooting. Buddy Hield was knocking down three pointers and the Kings transition game beat the 76ers up and down the court all night. They were losing 91-87 after three quarters of play and the momentum was in favor of the Kings heading into the final frame.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Sixers managed to go on a 10-0 run and tighten up their defense to take control of the game. Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, and Shake Milton led a suffocating defense that forced the Kings to shoot 0-7, while each knocking down a three and the Sixers outscored the Kings 32-20 in the fourth quarter to kick off their west coast trip with a 119-111 win.
Joel Embiid did not have the best night, which makes it even more scary given the fact that he still finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds to go along with a season-high six assists. The most impressive part about tonight’s game for Embiid was the fourth quarter, where he relied on his teammates to help knock down shots as he was double and triple teamed in the post.
The Sixers offense outside of Embiid was led by Curry, Simmons, and Korkmaz for most of the first half. Ben Simmons was aggressive early, scoring 9 of his 14 points in the first quarter. Like usual, Simmons also tallied nine assists, seven rebounds, and one steal to go along with a solid effort offensively.
Seth Curry also shot lights out tonight and continued his fantastic free throw shooting, keeping his free throw percentage at a squeaky clean 100% on the season. He finished with 16 points on 5-9 shooting in the first half while Furkan Korkmaz scored 12 on 5-5 shooting.
A standout player tonight was Matisse Thybulle. While he didn’t score a single point, he was phenomenal on the defensive end. He finished just with 1 block and no steals, but managed to lock up his defensive assignment throughout the second half. This has become somewhat of typical game for the defensive mastermind and it’s been valuable to have a set of fresh legs with his defensive capabilities come off the bench late in games.
The 76ers next matchup is against The Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow, February 11th at 10:00 PM. With the starting five still being undefeated, they look to continue that against a team that beat them soundly just a few nights ago in Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports