The Sixers swept their weekend back-to-back when they knocked off the Utah Jazz 105-98 on Sunday. The analysis of this game begins and ends with Joel Embiid, who dropped a career-high 59 points along with 11 rebounds, eight assists, and seven blocks — which also tied a career-high.
Here are some instant observations from the win.
Also, I’ve decided to switch up the recap format, if you prefer the quarter-by-quarter analysis, yell at me in the comments!
Joel Embiid picked up right where he left off from last night, pretty much getting anything he wanted in the midrange. This was another classic Embiid performance in that the Sixers were completely hopeless without him, literally. He scored well over half their points, and 26 of the team’s 27 fourth-quarter points.
Joel Embiid is the first player in NBA history with— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 14, 2022
in a game. pic.twitter.com/SisDeid3fc
Save for a couple of highlight plays from Embiid and Matisse Thybulle, the Sixers looked very lethargic defensively in the first half. They came alive in the third quarter, holding the Jazz to 21 points, allowing the Sixers to get back into the game. Embiid was simply dominant guarding the rim tonight, blocking seven shots on the night, which also tied a career high. It was certainly the best performance I’ve ever seen from a Sixer.
In non-Embiid news It was interesting to see Matisse Thybulle stay in the starting lineup, despite De’Anthony Melton being available after missing last night’s game against the Hawks. The moved paid dividends early, as Thybulle had five stocks in the first half. Melton filled in well as bench scoring option, something the Sixers really need from a guard in the absence of James Harden. The Thybulle/Melton rotation was the only thing not named Joel Embiid that worked for Philly in the first half.
It is worth noting that Rivers made a mid-game switch with the backup centers. Paul Reed started the game, and while he looked better defensively than last night, a turnover and an airball was enough to go to Harrell for the rest of the night. How much impact it had on the game is debatable, as the Sixers’ offense really struggled any time Embiid went to the bench.
The Sixers will have some time to rest up, as they don’t play again until Friday when the Milwaukee Bucks come to town.