Embiid’s 37 points not enough, Sixers drop second straight game on the road to the Pelicans 127-116
Talk about a rough week for the Philadelphia 76ers. After losing to Washington on Tuesday night, the Sixers lost their second straight game on the road Friday night to the New Orleans Pelicans 127-116.
Joel Embiid was dominant yet again and helped guide the Sixers to a 10-point lead in the first quarter. On the night, Embiid dropped 37 points with eight rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block. James Harden scored 20 points and tallied 10 assists, but his night was defined by seven miserable turnovers that proved costly for the Sixers.
JOEL EMBIID: 37 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
Originally tweeted by Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) on December 31, 2022.
Again, outside of Harden and Embiid offensively, everything else was pretty “meh” for the Sixers and Doc Rivers’ rotations made you want to pull your hair out. I mean what the hell is a lineup of Harrell, Niang, Milton, Maxey (first game in over a month), and PJ Tucker doing on the court? They played nearly six minutes (24 possessions) and scored eight total points, tallying a -13.
Sixers Supporting Cast
- Tobias Harris: 14 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
- De’Anthony Melton: 11 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK
- Tyrese Maxey: 9 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST
- Georges Niang: 8 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST
Anyways, the Sixers’ early lead was erased shortly after thanks to CJ McCollum, who went ballistic last night, scoring 42 points on a career-high 11 made shots from beyond the arc. McCollum, paired with Zion Williamson who finished with 36 points, were just too much for the Sixers, who played sloppy defense and turned the ball over way too much.
McCollum and the Pelicans scored 30 points off 19 Philadelphia turnovers and another 14 points off offensive rebounds.
Joel Embiid and James Harden combined for 12 turnovers alone.
Something has to give for this Sixers team. Blame whoever you want but the last two nights should have been wins. There were just too many self-inflicted wounds in both games for the Sixers to come out on top.
Embiid, who continues to dominate anyone he faces, can’t do it alone obviously but his December numbers are incredible.
Joel Embiid is averaging 37 points in December
Over the last 25 seasons, only 3 players have averaged that many points in a month (min. 10 games):
- Kobe Bryant (3x)
- James Harden (4x)
- Stephen Curry (1x)
Embiid also has shooting splits of 56-45-87 in December and no one seems to care in the national media. Embiid can’t even crack the Top 5 in the NBA’s MVP ladder. Just embarrassing.
Last night, we were one Tyrese Maxey three away from touching greatness. We also needed Trey Murphy III to score 15 points to hit a massive parlay but for whatever reason, after starting the game 3-of-4 from the floor, Murphy was banished to the shadow realm and barely logged a minute in the second half.
Up Next for the Sixers
The Sixers will close out the 2022 calendar year tonight in Oklahoma City. Back with more on tonight’s game later today. Cheers.