The Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 104-99 in one of the more exciting, chippy, and memorable games Sixers fans have seen in a long time.
We’ll fast forward to the final frame of regulation, where Philadelphia saw a late game lead slip out of their grasp once again. Memphis rode the pick-and-roll tandem of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to 16 fourth quarter points, erasing an eight point deficit to take an 85-79 lead with 1:53 left.
The Sixers refused to go down without a fight, as Ersan Ilyasova and Nik Stauskas connected on back-to-back corner threes to tie the game at 85 a piece. Memphis re-gained the lead after Gasol made one of two free throws, but Philadelphia had an opportunity to go back up as Robert Covington was fouled on a breakaway layup attempt created by a Joel Embiid steal. Covington, who finished with 19 points on 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc, would only make one free throw, and the two teams would eventually head to overtime deadlocked at 86.
Point guard Jerryd Bayless would provide the only points for the home team in the first overtime period, scoring on a contested layup followed by a game-tying three on the ensuing Sixers possession.
Philadelphia would have a chance at the last look of the game with just over one second remaining on the clock, but a turnaround jump shot for Embiid would not fall.
Embiid, who surpassed his 24 minute restriction in the first overtime, was not allowed to continue playing despite desperately seeking approval from team doctors. He decided to take his frustrations out on the team bench.
Joel Embiid was not able to play in the second OT due to minutes restrictions and he was NOT happy about it pic.twitter.com/4laJRl6uPS— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 24, 2016
The 22-year-old watched on helplessly as the Grizzlies went right after backup big man Jahlil Okafor with Zach Randolph, who scored the team’s first two baskets of the second overtime. Philadelphia got the ball back down 101-98 with 20 seconds left, but Nik Stauskas confusingly attempted and missed a mid-range jumper, sinking the Sixers hopes of their first three-game winning streak since the 2013-14 season.
Overall, Philadelphia did a good job of limiting of keeping Memphis quiet, especially in the first half. The Grizzlies shot just 38.4 percent from the field for the game, and were out-rebounded 56-46. Ersan Ilyasova led the charge on the boards, finishing the night with 12 rebounds to go along with his 22 points, his third double-double in a Sixers uniform. Embiid, who finished with just 12 points on 4-10 shooting, added a career-high 11 rebounds of his own.
Bayless, who is still working his way back from a wrist injury, was a game changer for the Sixers. He attacked the rim hard, shooting 4-6 in the painted area en route to 18 points on 15 shots.
Philadelphia will look to rebound against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night without the services of Joel Embiid, who the team is planning to rest.