76ers hold off Tyrese Haliburton and the Kings, escape with a 103-101 win to remain perfect on home stand
The Philadelphia 76ers escaped from what was potentially shaping to be a really bad loss last to beat the Sacramento Kings 103-101 in South Philadelphia.
76ers’ Slow and Sloppy Start
The Sixers struggled with turnovers and fell behind by double digits early. The entire first quarter was ugly, with the team turning the ball over nine times in the first 14 minute of the game.
The only Sixers player that was able to get anything moving in the first quarter was Tobias Harris, who had another decent night with 16 points, eight rounds, three assists, and a steal.
The Sixers were down 17 points in the second quarter and at halftime, were down 11 points.
Embiid’s Second Half Resurgence
Joel Embiid returned at halftime and scored 17 points in the third quarter to help the Sixers tie the game at 81-81. The Kings entered the fourth quarter with a two point lead. From there, a few timely shots from Danny Green and Georges Niang, plus Tyrese Maxey waking up helped aid Embiid and the rest of the 76res to avoid an embarrassing loss to the Kings.
Maxey finished the night with 13 points, two rebounds, seven assists and steal.
76ers-Kings Failed Trade Talks
I really hate doing this but I have to bring up the fact that the Sacramento Kings halted trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers last week. The Kings were one team that was consistently brought up in discussions around Ben Simmons throughout the entire nine month-long soap opera.
The 76ers had talks with Sacramento last summer regarding De’Aaron Fox, but the Kings weren’t willing to move Fox or include him in any type of deal for Simmons Back in December, it seemed clear that the Kings remained firm on what they were willing to offer for Ben Simmons, something that Daryl Morey was not interested in.
Less than two weeks ago, the Kings were “pondering” the idea of acquiring both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris from the Sixers. The thought that there was actually a chance for the Sixers to land Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, and Harrison Barnes in a trade package and that didn’t happen is painful.
Haliburton showed the Sixers what they missed out on last night.
The 21-year old Tyrese Haliburton torched the 76ers for 38 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and only two turnovers. Hali was 11-for-19 from the field and 5-for-9 from three point range. He was 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
In the fourth quarter, Haliburton was literally the only Kings player to score for what felt like 10 minutes, highlighted by this ridiculous three point shot from the corner with 14.8 seconds remaining in the game.
Harrison Barnes finished the night with 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. He was 5-for-16 from the floor and 2-for-7 from beyond the arc and had the chance to win the game for the Kings, but missed a three pointer at the buzzer. Hield did not play well, scoring just two points on 1-for-8 shooting and 0-for-7 from three point range.
If I’m Daryl Morey, or Joshua Harris, or whoever is calling the shots over there, I would have been on the phone with the Kings immediately following last night’s game asking them to take Ben Simmons and leave Haliburton, and whoever else they want in Philadelphia. Figure out how to make the money work and get it done. It’s time to end the Ben Simmons story once and for all.
The Sixers are now 30-19 on the season and jumped ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers into third place in the crowded Eastern Conference standings. They are just 1.5 games behind the Heat in first, and a half game out of the second seeded Chicago Bulls.
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming to town tomorrow night as the Sixers look to remain perfect on their current home stand. The NBA trade deadline is less than two weeks away.
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