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Sixers’ win streak snapped by Hornets

A putrid second quarter did the Sixers in as their win streak ends with a loss to Charlotte.

Charlotte Hornets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

You can’t win ‘em all.

The Sixers were done in by a putrid second quarter and their seven-game win streak was snapped in a loss to the Hornets, 109-98, Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers fall to 23-17. They host the Celtics on Friday.

Shake Milton missed his fourth game with a lower back contusion. Ben Simmons (personal reasons) remains out.

Here are more observations from Wednesday’s game.

First quarter

  • Great to see Tyrese Maxey and his patented floater back in the lineup. He scored the Sixers’ first basket on an overaggressive closeout on a corner three.
  • Also great to see Tobias Harris hit a three after finding out he was diagnosed with tendinitis in his right shoulder.
  • The Sixers’ transition defense continues to not be very good. Charlotte is not a good defensive team, so they hack and hunt steals that they can turn into transition opportunities. The Sixers made a few lazy passes and it led to easy baskets on the other end for the Hornets.
  • The officials were a little tough on Joel Embiid, calling two early offensive fouls on the big man. But Charlotte was not that hard on him as Embiid poured in 12 first-quarter points.
  • Oh man, Maxey nailed a three off an Andre Drummond screen off the dribble at the top of the key. The next possession he hit a step-back three above the break. You’ll remember the last time we saw Maxey he made a career-high five threes. He’s apparently picking up right where he left off.
  • Both teams shot the hell out of the ball and the Sixers took a 35-34 advantage into the second quarter.

Second quarter

  • Shooting regression for both teams to start the second. It took the Sixers almost four minutes to get their first field goal of the period. The game was a bit of slog with both teams going to mostly-bench lineups.
  • The Sixers just look out of sorts on both ends. The offense looks disjointed. Embiid and Seth Curry combined for seven turnovers in the first half. The Sixers aren’t getting back on defense and their rotations have been poor. Gordon Hayward is torching them yet again. He’s 9 of 9 for 22 points. Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier seem to be getting to the paint at will. Charlotte won the quarter 30-15.
  • That was a first half to forget. The Hornets looked like they were going 100 mph while the Sixers were just coasting. Charlotte shot 55.3 percent from the field and got a ton of great looks. They held a 18-6 advantage in fast break points. The Sixers got 26 combined points from Embiid and Maxey while the rest of the team had 24. Curry had more turnovers (3) than points (2). The Hornets opened up a 64-50 lead heading into the half. Just poor basketball all around by the Sixers.

Third quarter

  • Well-deserved boos to start the second half as the Hornets opened up a 70-50 lead. Just more of the same — a lack of urgency and careless mistakes.
  • A 15-2 run after a Doc Rivers timeout. Sixers with a lot more fight and energy. The Hornets are also finally missing some shots.
  • Wow, Joel Embiid had apparently seen enough, three offensive fouls be damned.
  • Never mind. The Sixers got it to within seven, but then a 13-4 Charlotte run grew the deficit back to 16 late in the third. The Hornets are just smothering Embiid and nobody is making them pay. Not the reason they’re losing, but the Sixers are also just 14 of 22 from the line.
  • Sixers go into the fourth down 85-76. That actually feels like a win considering how poorly they’ve played for most of this game. Embiid has 25. Someone else needs to step up.

Fourth quarter

  • A solid outing from Furkan Korkmaz. He nailed a pair of threes during a 10-0 Sixers run. Another tough outing for Harris. He’s 4 of 12 from the field.
  • Rivers gives the “Godzilla and King Kong” lineup another shot with Embiid and Drummond in the game. The Hornets went zone and it wasn’t very effective. Can’t say I agree with the decision.
  • A pair of big shots from Harris on a short pull-up jumper and a three off a pass from Embiid. Sixers still hanging around at 96-88 with 5:06 remaining.
  • A really balanced effort propelled Charlotte as Hayward (30), Rozier (22) and Bridges (21) all scored 20-plus points.
  • Embiid records his eighth straight game of 30-plus points, tying a franchise record held by Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson. The problem is he didn’t get much help. Maxey disappeared in the second. Curry looked off after missing a game. Harris’ struggles continued. Seven-game win streak snapped.

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