I blame the announcer’s curse for that stressful game. At the beginning of tonight’s broadcast, it was mentioned that this matchup against the Hornets was a trap game, sandwiched between Sunday’s big win against the Milwaukee Bucks and tomorrow’s rivalry game against the Boston Celtics. The curse was on and the Sixers were never able to take over the game and put the Hornets away definitively until the final buzzer sounded.
I may be (definitely am) burying the lede here. The Sixers defeated the Charlotte Hornets tonight by a score of 118-114, sweeping the season series. The Sixers were handed a gift when, six minutes into the game, Kemba Walker picked up his third foul and would sit out until the second half. The Sixers were unable to capitalize on Walker’s absence, only holding a three-point lead at the half. In a game with 22 lead changes, the Hornets were able to get their offense going in the second half with Walker unleashed onto the court. They were able to build the lead up to five, but ultimately the Sixers were able to secure the victory.
The star of tonight’s show was JJ Redick, who had the first double-double of his 13-year NBA career. After one of his worst shooting slumps in recent memory, the ice was flowing through his veins tonight. Redick shot 50 percent from the 3-point line with a total of seven made 3-pointers. He added six more points for a total of 27, along with 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Ben Simmons was also electrifying tonight, shooting 11-of-12 from the field for a total of 28 points. The Hornets didn’t have an answer for him, allowing him to get to the basket with relative ease. Jimmy Butler had some magic left over from the last time the Sixers played in Charlotte. He scored 23 points, had nine assists, and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Although the Sixers avoided the trap game and earned their fifth straight victory, everyone’s mind is on tomorrow’s game against Boston. Currently, the Sixers are three games up on the Celtics, who sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid will be back in the Sixers’ lineup to face their Eastern Conference rival. You can bet The Center will be rocking in South Philadelphia tomorrow.
Tobias Harris had a slow start tonight, scoring only eight points in the first half. He came out in the second half with a new determination, adding 14 points for a total of 22 on the evening. He also had a double-double tonight, adding 12 rebounds on the night.
Only six Sixers scored points tonight, which is…not great. On the bright side, of those six, four of them had over 20 points.
The Sixers only had seven turnovers, with no one player contributing more than two turnovers.
James Ennis III was the only Sixer to come off the bench and score a point. He shot 6-of-9 from the field, scored 14 points, and had a huge 3-pointer with 18.6 seconds left to put the Sixers up by four.
For the Hornets, Jeremy Lamb had a team-high 26 points off the bench. Despite sitting out for much of the first half, Kemba Walker was able to score 21 points in only 28 minutes of play.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game after colliding with Amir Johnson in the third quarter.