The Sixers continued their winning streak against the Hornets tonight, defeating Charlotte by a final score of 105-103. After being listed as questionable earlier in the day, Joel Embiid was announced as available and made his presence known on the court. The Sixers’ All-Star center finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks. In the first half, Embiid was absolutely dominant in the post, scoring some of the easiest buckets you’ll ever see against Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo. It appeared that fatigue set in in the third quarter a bit, when the Hornets went on a run, overtaking the lead for the first time since the 6:41 mark of the 1st quarter. The Sixers ultimately regained their momentum in the fourth, and despite a last minute bone-headed foul by Ben Simmons, managed to pull out the win.
Robert Covington was a menace on defense tonight, tasked with containing Kemba Walker. He had a number of well-timed deflections which shifted the momentum of the game. Covington also had a good shooting night, finishing 4/7 from beyond the arc and ending the game with 18 points. A few of those threes halted Charlotte scoring streaks, and another put Philadelphia up by four points with less than two minutes to play. Additionally, Covington added 4 blocks and 10 rebounds to his stat line, giving him his first double-double of the season.
It was a strong showing for second-year point guard Markelle Fultz. He finished with 10 points and 4 assists, shooting 44.4% from the floor. He had a number of plays that could be added to his highlight reel, including this spin move and finish with the left hand.
His pièce de résistance, however, was this breakaway dunk and scream, which brought back memories of Richaun Holmes.
It wasn’t all great performances for the Sixers, however, as last year’s Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons couldn’t buy a basket at the rim tonight. Considering he rarely shoots outside of the key, this complication was detrimental to his offensive contribution. Simmons finished with 14 points, and 3 assists, besting his career low in that category by just one.
Hornets star Kemba Walker did his best to carry his team to victory with another 30+ point game (37 points to be exact). He was supported by Cody Zeller and Jeremy Lamb, who each put up 12 points. Miles Bridges also contributed 14 off the bench.
Joel Embiid is the first Sixer to score at least 20 points and have 10 rebounds in six consecutive games to start the NBA season. (h/t @SixersStats)
All five Sixers starters finished with double digit points tonight, in addition to JJ Redick off the bench, who had 15.
The Sixers didn’t miss a free throw until 4:20 in the 3rd quarter. Ultimately, they finished 25/30 from the stripe.
The Sixers will face former teammate Justin Anderson and the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at home.