Embiid drops 45, 76ers catch fire from deep, win third straight game, beating the Pacers 131-122
Give Joel Embiid the damn MVP. The Philadelphia 76ers stayed red hot last night beating the Indiana Pacers 131-122 on the road. Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey were walking buckets, and with the help of the rest the team, the Sixers were making it rain from downtown, setting a new franchise record with 28 three pointers.
Strong First Half Performance
Joel Embiid was simply unstoppable in the first half last night. Embiid scored 27 points with seven rebounds, shooting 12-18 from the floor and 1-2 from three point range. Please, don’t even start with the “foul merchant” talk on Twitter. The Process was only 2-for-3 from the free throw line at halftime.
Tobias Harris was arguably more impressive (I know it sounds crazy) than Joel Embiid was at the start of this game. Harris went 4-for-4 from three point range to start the game. Tyrese Maxey than one-upped Harris, making 7-of-9 three pointers in the first half. Yes, those two went off, but the team as a whole really shot lights out over the first two frames.
Sixers Threes at Halftime
- Maxey: 7-9 3PT
- Harris: 4-5 3PT
- Niang: 2-3 3PT
- Milton: 2-3 3PT
- Harden: 1-2 3PT
- Embiid: 1-2 3PT
- Team: 17-28 3PT (60.7%)
Sloppy Second Half
On the heels of the monster first half, the Sixers naturally fell apart in the third quarter, getting outscored 40-25. The defense was non-existent, allowing the Pacers to get whatever they wanted and gave little-to-no effort rebounding the basketball.
It’s honestly hard to even get mad about it anymore. This is what Doc Rivers allows this team to do at times, and we saw both Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey on the bench together for extended periods of time in the second half, allowing the Pacers crawl back into the game.
Like clockwork, Embiid comes back into the game and stops the bleeding, helping the Sixers pull away and hold on to another win on the road.
Joel Embiid is the MVP. Period.
I don’t even know where to begin when talking about Joel Embiid and why he is the clear MVP of the National Basketball Association. It’s just so obvious at this point and I wish the regular season would just end so we can stop talking about it. Who knows what the NBA will decide in terms of the MVP. If it’s not Embiid then they got the pick wrong. Period.
Embiid notched his 11th game of the season with 40+ points and 10+ rebounds, which ties Hall of Famer Moses Malone (1981-82) and Russell Westbrook (2016-17) for the most by an NBA player since the ABA-NBA merger.
The most 40-point and 10-rebound games since the 2000-01 season (via sportsradar):
- James Harden: 31
- Anthony Davis: 30
- Russell Westbrook: 29
- LeBron James: 26
- Joel Embiid: 25
To be clear, last night, Joel Embiid scored 45 points on 18-for-30 shooting while only attempting 10 free throws. Like I mentioned earlier, that is terrible news for the “foul merchants” on Twitter who think Embiid can only score points if he goes to the foul line. Someone should probably let Ty Lue and JB Bickerstaff know as well. They don’t get it either.
With last night’s performance, Embiid reclaimed the NBA Scoring Title lead with just a handful of games remaining. Embiid is on pace to be the first center since Shaquille O’Neal and the first international player ever to win the scoring title. Embiid is also poised to become just the six center in NBA HISTORY to average 30 points per game and the FIRST to accomplish such a feat in under 20 shots per game.
Honest question: What more does Joel Embiid have to do in order to get some respect? It’s honestly ridiculous that after performances like last night, and the records that Embiid is chasing down as the season comes to an end, we’re even discussing the possibility of him not winning the MVP.
If the NBA screws this up, all credibility will be lost and it will be really hard to ignore Drew Smith’s cries on Twitter saying there’s a conspiracy against The Process.
We’ll just have to see how it all plays out, for now, we might as well just listen to former Sixers player and good friend of Joel Embiid, Justin Anderson. He understands the assignment.
Tyrese Maxey Makes it Rain
We spent this entire article talking about Joel Embiid but now we must shift focus over to the rising star in Philadelphia, Tyrese Maxey. Last night, Maxey cooked the Indiana Pacers throughout the game, doing LOT of damage from beyond the arc.
Maxey went 8-for-11 from three point range in route to his fifth game of the season with 30 or more points. He ended the night with 30 points and seven assists while shooting nearly 73% from the floor.
It has been incredible to see the improvement from Maxey as a shooter, and to put it on full display in this game was a perfect way to get in a groove heading into the playoffs. Maxey has now improved his average to 41.7% from three this year, an absolutely insane jump from his 30.1% last season.
After tying the franchise record for threes this weekend against the Hornets, the Sixers were able to top that number against the Pacers with 23 made threes. Seven different players for Philadelphia hit shots from deep last night.
Most notably was obviously Tyrese Maxey, but his teammates Georges Niang and Shake Milton both hit multiple threes as well. It is always a welcomed sight to see this team spacing the floor and hitting shots, and the bench was integral part of this win, which is another good sign heading into the playoffs.
The 76ers are building a decent amount of momentum and have just won their third straight game. They will stay on the road against the Toronto Raptors tomorrow night before returning to South Philly to face the Pacers and Pistons, ending the regular season on April 10th.
Mandatory Credit: Indy Star