In likely their most impressive victory of the season, the Sixers beat the Indiana Pacers on the road tonight, 120-96.
The biggest storyline in this game was the health of Joel Embiid, who was questionable until gametime with back stiffness. Embiid was visibly uncomfortable for much of the first half, moving gingerly and wincing in between plays. In the first half, Embiid was also much more inclined to fire from long range than bang down low, shooting 6 threes (one heave) in the first 24.
The second half seemed to be a different story for the big man. He was more aggressive all around, playing defense and scoring at a rate much closer to what we’ve come to expect. Embiid finished with 22 points, 13 boards, 8 assists and 3 blocks. A +18, this was a truly gutsy performance by the MVP candidate in a game he seemed determine to play in and win.
Jimmy Butler gave the Sixers consistent offense and staunch defense all night, as he put up 27 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds on 10-17 shooting.
Ben Simmons was up-and-down, turning the ball over 6 times and only scoring 10 points. But he created some great looks for Jimmy, Jo and Muscala (game-high +19 off the bench) and played solid defense on a host of Pacers all night long.
JJ Redick caught fire en route to his 20 points on 6-9 (nice) shooting from 3.
Perhaps the only thing more impressive than putting 120 on the Pacers at home was the job the Sixers did guarding Victor Oladipo. A combination of Jimmy, Ben and Wilson Chandler held the All-Star to 6-20 shooting on the night.
Here’s hoping these two consecutive decisive victories are a sign of good things to come for this Sixers team as they continue this extremely tough stretch of basketball.
Next Up: the Sixers will be home to welcome Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.