Sixers Survive Late Push by the Rockets, Halting Their 3 Game Losing Streak
The Philadelphia 76ers returned home last night after a 1-3 West Coast road trip and defeated the Houston Rockets 118-113. Although the game turned out to be much closer than it should have been, the Sixers improved to 19-10 on the season and 18-5 with Joel Embiid playing. With minutes into the second half, the Sixers were up 29 points against the Rockets. The team shot 12 of 19 from three point range and forced 14 turnovers against the 11-16 Rockets before watching the lead vanish late in the fourth quarter. The Sixers allowed the Rockets to climb back into the game, giving up 24 points in the final seven minutes. John Wall caught fire and scored 14 points in the closing minutes and the Sixers turned the ball over seven times to allow the Rockets to save face. In the end, a win is a win, and the Sixers without Ben Simmons desperately needed one to snap a three game losing streak.
Joel Embiid & Tobias Harris
Our MVP was fairly quiet throughout the first half of the game, scoring only eight points before exploding in the second half and ending the game with a near triple double. Embiid finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. He was vital from the free throw line down the final stretch. Tobias Harris continued his outstanding play and finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds on the night.
Seth Curry and Danny Green
Since returning to play after battling COVID-19, Seth Curry hasn’t truly been able to regain his form from earlier this season. Last night, he was better than ever. Curry scored 25 points and added 5 assists on three of five shooting from beyond the arc. Curry was impressive all over the court and even flashed his ability to create his own shot, something the Sixers desperately needed last night. Danny Green hit four three pointers in the first half to lead the Sixers shooting 11 for 18 from three point range to start the game. Much like their lead, in the second half, the hot perimeter shooting went completely cold and the Sixers finished 12 for 26 from three point range.
Matisse Thybulle, The Starter
With Ben Simmons out with a non-covid related illness, Doc Rivers put Matisse Thybulle into the starting lineup. Of course, Thybulle caused chaos all over the court defensively, whether the Sixers were in a 2-3 zone or man-to-man defense. Thybulle’s defense is literally must-watch basketball. Matisse Thybulle was a spark defensively as he normally is, ending with four steals and a block. Thybulle was even decently productive offensively as well, adding five points and knocking down a three pointer. With Furkan’s struggles it made sense to slide Thybulle in the starting lineup in the absence of Simmons, and he is proving to be an instrumental part of this roster.
Just feast your eyes on this Matisse sequence from the first half last night.
John Wall returned to his younger form during the Rockets late comeback attempt, ending the game with 28 points and 7 assists. Demarcus Cousins was effective from three, surprisingly making four of his nine attempts and finishing with 19 points along with 8 rebounds.
The Sixers play again on Friday against the Bulls in their second straight home game.