Embiid and Harden lead charge in win against Dallas
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks came into this game having won nine of their last ten games, but Joel Embiid and the 76ers had other plans for them last night.
Philadelphia gained control of this game during a scorching hot third-quarter run and never looked back. The Sixers staggered their stars into what Doc Rivers called a “two-unit attack”, which effectively allowed both Joel Embiid and James Harden to have full control of the offense at separate times. This was a high-quality win over a good team and sets them up nicely for a tough stretch of games that lies ahead.
The Big Fella regained the scoring crown after this game, now setting his season average at 30.0 points per game. The offense has been coming easy for Embiid with the added playmaking and he has taken full advantage. This was another night where he shot well over 50% from the field and not without his fair share of tough shots.
He ends the night with 32 points on 11/20 from the field and 8/9 from the charity stripe. What’s more impressive was his defense, grabbing a career-high five steals on the night. In a matchup with one of the premier offensive talents in the league like Luka, Embiid provided a much-needed anchor throughout the night.
The playmaking ability of Harden has been by far his best attribute when coming into Philadelphia, but we have missed the elite scoring talent that lies within him, but last night we got a glimpse into that version oh The Beard. He went into the fourth quarter with just 14 points, making just one of his six shots from deep. He went on a rampage of scoring and facilitating, dropping ten points in the quarter and drilling multiple jumpers.
Harden guided the Sixers to the victory, finishing his night with 24 points and 12 assists. If Philadelphia is able to unlock this version of Harden consistently it will be a legitimate nightmare to matchup against.
A hero rises from the ashes, and Georges Niang did just that last night with four threes in the final quarter of play that put the nail in the coffin for this game. After a handful of quiet games where he struggled from his usual distance, Niang came out firing and really took this game over for a period of time. He knocked down all of his jumpers in the span of two minutes and gave the Sixers a welcomed spark in this win. As he profoundly states on his way to the locker room, “when you’re hot, you’re hot”, and for those few minutes, Niang certainly was hot.
This game was the first of a short homestand for the Sixers. Next, they will host the Toronto Raptors who have been playing well as of late. The two teams have split the season series thus far 1-1, with Philadelphia winning the most recent faceoff from December.
Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff | Getty Images