THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 4. THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ARE THAT CLOSE TO CLINCHING A PLAYOFF BERTH.
Ben Simmons just recorded his 9th triple double of the season, his 3rd in his last 4 games and the best part of his 11/12/15 +30 stat line was that he had ZERO (0) (none) (goose egg) turnovers. I’m going to repeat that one more time... the Sixers 6’10 ROOKIE POINT GUARD had 15 assists and ZERO turnovers. That’s absolutely incredible.
The Sixers still hit their season average in turnovers at 15.
The majority of the turnovers came form Joel Embiid, who finished with 9 of the 15 Sixers turnovers. So Joel had a pretty bad night right? WRONG. The turnovers aren’t good, don’t get me wrong, but when your 2nd year 7’2 center finishes with 25 points, 19 rebounds, and 4 blocks while shooting 4-6 from distance, I’ll deal with the 9 turnovers (for now).
This was an anxiously tight game for the better part of 3 quarters until the Sixers three-point shooting kicked in to gear as Marco Belinelli, Robert Covington, and Joel Embiid started to knock down shots from the perimeter to extend the Sixers lead.
Marco found his stroke in the 3rd as he ripped off three 3s as he ended the night with 21 points on 5-9 shooting from three.
Cov finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and a block as he ended the game +28, while guarding the dynamic scorer Kemba Walker. Kemba got his own as he put up a stuffed stat sheet with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. But, it wasn’t enough as he shot just 1-9 from distance in the losing effort.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Sixers in this game as the Hornets fought back from down 11 to tie the game in the 4th quarter, but the Sixers spaced the floor and hit shots to strengthen the lead and eventually win by 14.
One major change in the 2nd half was the defense. The Hornets had a 38 point second quarter that gave them a 56-49 going in to halftime. That 38 point 2nd quarter was followed by a 38 point 2nd half as the Hornets shot just 19% in the 3rd quarter.
Some other cool things-
Dario Saric struggled from the field as he finished with just 5 points on 2-9 shooting but ended the game +33 (!). Good for the Homie for being a positive influence on the floor even when his shot isn’t going down.
This is the 3rd time the Sixers have beaten the Hornets this month, and they will face off against them one more time this season, on April 1st.
Dwight Howard still can’t seem to understand how to guard Joel Embiid. Dwight picked up his 3rd foul with 2 minutes left in the 1st half, and picked up his 4th just a couple minutes in to the 2nd half. Dwight, who went off for 30 in the last matchup, was held to just 10 points and 4 rebounds and -18 in tonight’s game.
Former Sixer draftee Willy Hernangomez had himself a career night as he ended with 17 points (career high), 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was -40. Yikes.
Next game is Wednesday at home against the tanking Grizzlies.