The Sixers fall to the Indiana Pacers 100-92 in a frustrating game with, shockingly, a second-half collapse. The momentum shifted many times in a game with six lead changes, but the Pacers ran away with it at the end, assisted by 7 of the Sixers turnovers that came in the fourth quarter.
Joel Embiid played in the first back-to-back game of his career and put up a strong performance. After a slow start, in which he sometimes looked sluggish, Embiid came back into the game after the bench went on a 16-7 run to tie the game at 51. He seemed to feed off their energy and looked more dominant upon re-entry, finishing the game with 24-10-3. In conjunction with his strong offensive play, Embiid caused Piston’s center Myles Turner to be virtually nonexistent. Turner was unable to guard Embiid, garnering 2 fouls in 3 minutes and 10 seconds of play. He only played for 15 minutes as Domantas Sabonis and Al Jefferson proved more effective against Embiid and he finished the night with zero points.
The Sixers needed offense, especially in the fourth quarter, and no one was able to give it to them. Coming on late, really, really, late, was J.J. Redick, who scored his first points of the game with 1:22 remaining. After being fouled on a three-point shot, he sank all three free throws, giving him six points on the night. Someone who was able to produce in the fourth quarter was the Pacers’ Lance Stephenson, who had 12 of his 14 points in the last quarter.
Jerryd Bayless had the hot hand in the first half, shooting 75% from 3 and scoring 9 points. After halftime, the fire went out as he only scored 2 in the second half and committed a costly turnover in the fourth when the were Sixers down by 8 with 7:32 to play.
The Sixers have their next five games at home, a place where they have a better record than on the road (13-10 vs 12-15). They will need to pick up some wins if they want to continue to hold on to the eighth seed going into next weekend’s All-Star break.
- Ben Simmons produced less offensively than he has in the past few games. He had only 10 points tonight, in comparison to the 20 he had been averaging since All-Star reserves were announced.
- Victor Oladipo and Bojan Bogdanovic both had 19 points, a team high.
- Dario Saric and Robert Covington were a combined 5 for 6 from 3 in the first half. The Sixers didn’t hit a 3 in the second half until Redick’s first points with 1:22 remaining.
- GO BIRDS!