Sixers have an off-night defensively, lose to the Clippers 122-112 in Los Angeles
The Philadelphia 76ers were in Los Angeles last night to face the Clippers. They entered the night winning nine of their last 10 games and undefeated on their current road trip. It was an ugly effort defensively, and the Clippers shot 52.9 percent from the floor, with Kawhi Leonard scoring 28 points and Paul George scoring 24 points, leading them to a 122-112 victory at the Staples Center. The Sixers are now 32-14 on the season and still sit atop of the Eastern Conference standings with a one game lead over the Brooklyn Nets. They will continue their road trip on Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets.
Tobias Harris led the Sixers with 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting, with seven rebounds and six assists. Ben Simmons scored 15 points, with seven rebounds, and two assists before fouling out of the game with just over eight minutes left in the game. Shake Milton ended the game with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
Dwight Howard was ejected for the second game in a row after scoring nine points and bringing in 11 rebounds. Dwight Howard needs to be a better veteran leader. Without Joel Embiid, the Sixers are relying on him to hold down the center position and when you are getting ejected for the second time in as many games, you’re hurting this team and forcing the Sixers to rely on a smaller lineup that includes Mike Scott at center.
Leonard and George are never an easy duo to stop and the Clippers put both players in the right situations last night to attach mismatches. The Clippers were excellent in transition in the first half, scoring the game’s only 12 fast-break points. The Clippers love to shoot from beyond the arc and made 11 of 26 attempts (42.3 percent) last night against the Sixers.
The Sixers will play again on Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets. Joel Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and newly acquired George Hill (right thumb surgery) remain out with no definitive timetable on return. Embiid has progressed well and better than expected, while Hill is scheduled to resume on-court basketball activities over the next few days.
Without Embiid, the Sixers have relied on strong defense to win games and stay ahead of the Nets and Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings. Last night, they simply did not do enough defensively to slow down the Clippers and got into foul trouble early. They were due for an off-night. Let’s hope they can turn things around come Tuesday.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY