Joel Embiid carries the 76ers to convincing victory over the Cavaliers
Last night, the Philadelphia 76ers won their second consecutive game in a row with a dominating victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-93. Even while shorthanded due Seth Curry and Andre Drummond heading to Brooklyn, the Sixers took care of business on back-to-back nights, setting themselves up perfectly for a James Harden debut on Tuesday night against the Celtics.
The Sixers made all of their shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter, shooting 74% from the field in the opening 12 minutes. At one point, they held a 15-point lead, and Joel Embiid scored or assisted on 23 of the first 30 points scored by the 76ers.
Joel Embiid Monster Dunk
When the 76ers are clicking, they are extremely difficult to defend and show how great of a basketball team they can be, regardless of their opponent. Tyrese Maxey finished second in scoring at the half, notching his second consecutive game with double digit points at the break.
In his 23rd consecutive game with 25+ points, Embiid dominated a formidable interior defender in Jarrett Allen and detonated on his head in what might be the dunk of the year. Embiid finished the night with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists for a triple double, his second of the year.
Embiid is the first 76ers player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to record 40/10/10 in a game, bringing South Philadelphia another MVP performance in what will likely be his last game without a legitimate co-star aside him.
Between knocking down 4/5 shots from three, monster dunks, and the fastbreak handles we all find ourselves marveling at the player Joel Embiid has become this season.
The second leading scorer for the Sixers, Maxey dropped 16 points on 50% shooting from the field and finished as a +19 on the night. His game breaking speed adds an entire new element to the offense, and his steps towards stardom are extremely evident. His role will likely change in the upcoming days, but the foundation he has laid throughout the first half of this season will solidify him in the starting lineup for the Sixers.
An unbelievable defensive performance from Thybulle matches his career best with six steals in this game. When locked in, there are few defenders who are as talented on that side of the ball as Thybulle. Offensively, Thybulle has grown in his role as a cutter and has become a valuable option for Embiid in the half court. His role will continue to grow as Harden starts running the offense, and when he’s scoring on top of the defense he becomes a scary asset for this team.
The last two games for the 76ers were the interim before a major change, and there was a general expectation that they may not be able to fully compete in these contests.
Rather than waiting for reinforcements, Philadelphia shows that they can beat one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference just on the back of Joel Embiid.
After two days off the Sixers will take on the Boston Celtics at home on Tuesday, where they will likely welcome their newest addition in James Harden.
Mandatory Credit: Philly Voice