Well, this was a trap game if I ever saw one.
The Blazers were down to 9 healthy and active players, and Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic were not among them.
The biggest real news of the game is that Sixers superstar Joel Embiid survived what appeared to be a scary tweak of his right knee unscathed. Embiid landed awkwardly after recording a chasedown block in the first quarter, and limped off the floor and into the locker room. As we all held our collective breath, Embiid returned a few minutes later to the sideline and went on to put up 25 points in the second quarter alone. The team described the injury a hyperextension — physically, Embiid looked fine in the remainder of his minutes. He finished the game with 37 points after playing an inexplicable 34 minutes.
Seth Curry started the game for the Sixers at point guard as Ben Simmons missed the game due to calf tightness. Curry registered his fifth and sixth consecutive scoreless quarters and missed the entire second half due to what the team called “illness.” Curry returned recently from a multi-week absence after he contracted COVID-19.
Every Sixer other than Embiid was bad in this game, as the team didn’t hit a 3 in the first half and ended the game shooting 23 percent from beyond — a percentage that was heavily inflated in garbage time.
The Blazers, meanwhile, knocked down 42 percent of their 3.
Next up: Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.