76ers take down Pelicans in season opener, 117-97
What a return for the Philadelphia 76ers, taking down the New Orleans Pelicans 117-97 on opening night. Philly’s new-look offense without Ben Simmons is a breath of fresh air and looks to be significantly different than any offense we have seen in years. The entire team was on fire tonight, from Joel Embiid to Furkan Korkmaz. Nobody could miss.
Embiid hit the ground running, scoring most of the 76ers points early on, but he looked to hurt his knee early on. The injury did not look serious at all, but it messed up Embiid’s rhythm. To finish the night, the 76ers center had 22 points but played just 26 minutes.
Tobias Harris has stepped up nicely as the second star for this team and was second in scoring with 20 points and had an impressive 12 rebounds. Being a late slot into the starting lineup, Tyrese Maxey continued to progress, having 20 points, and picked up right where he left off against Atlanta. The only starter to not make much of an impact was Danny Green, who had zero stats in 19 minutes.
When the game was close in the fourth, the 76ers’ bench stepped up big time. Furkan Korkmaz caught lightning in a bottle and exploded for four three-pointers to pull the game away from the Pelicans. Georges Niang also was productive from deep, hitting 3/4. The two bench wings shot a combined 7/8 from beyond the arc tonight while the team was 52% from deep.
Andre Drummond had one of the best games from a backup center in recent Sixers memory. Drummond pulled in a team-high 17 rebounds in a ridiculous 19 minutes and didn’t do too much with the ball, which was a common issue in Los Angeles.
For the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram had 25 points in a good showing but didn’t have much help around him. New Orleans’ bench had just nine points in a horrible outing. Philly gets a day off before their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Pelicans travel to Minnesota for a Saturday night game against the Timberwolves.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports