Welcome to Run It Back! In this weekly series, we will summarize the week overall and recap each Sixers’ game from the previous week (Sunday to Saturday).
This week saw the Sixers win both of their games against teams both well under .500 on the season, but they didn’t make it easy. On Wednesday against a then 3-16 Washington Wizards team, it took a 50-burger from Joel Embiid to help the Sixers escape D.C. with a 131-126 victory. Later in the week, the Sixers hosted the then 9-11 Atlanta Hawks without their leader in Trae Young, who was ruled out due to illness. Regardless, they made that one interesting too. After allowing the Hawks 45 points in the second frame and trailing at the half, a burst in the fourth period lifted the Sixers over Atlanta.
Good news from the week is everyone was back in the lineup, from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey returning from illness to Kelly Oubre Jr. making his return after missing a few weeks with a fractured rib.
The bad news is they might be without Embiid to start this week. Embiid tweaked his left knee after landing awkwardly late in the game against the Hawks. At the time of this writing, he is currently listed as questionable for the Sixers’ Monday contest against the Wizards (yes, the Wizards again) with left knee soreness.
And it’s going to be a busy week for the Sixers. In addition to that Monday matchup, this week will see Philadelphia play a home-and-home against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and Friday before heading to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Saturday.
Miss any of the action this past week? No worries, we have you covered.
Sixers at Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Dec. 6
Result: W, 131-126
Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid
The Sixers were back at full strength with Embiid and Tyrese Maxey returning to the lineup as well as Kelly Oubre Jr. who returned after missing a few weeks with a fractured rib.
Washington was able to grab the early advantage, partially thanks to the Sixers shooting 0-for-13 from long range before finally hitting a triple late in the second frame. Not even a 15-point first from Embiid could help. And the Embiid-less minutes in the second? Scary in the worst way. De’Anthony Melton kicked off a 11-0 Sixers swing with Philadelphia’s first triple of the game in the second half of the second period to see the Sixers make this a close affair, and the Wizards led 62-60 at the break.
Lackadaisical defense continued to plague the Sixers even as their offense began to come alive a bit more in the second half. The Wizards were allowed open shot after open shot, allowing them to just hold on to a narrow lead throughout most of the third before the Sixers finally snagged the advantage with a Pat Bev triple.
Philadelphia was able to hold on to their narrow lead thanks to offensive bursts from Kelly Oubre Jr. and, of course, Embiid. Embiid finished this one with 50 points and the Sixers needed every one as they snagged 131-126 victory over the Wizards.
Atlanta Hawks at Sixers, Friday, Dec. 9
Result: W, 125-114
Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid
It’s one thing to say the Sixers are in an easy stretch of their schedule, but they have to actually go out and play like the better team. In this one, a big fourth period was required to propel the Sixers over the shorthanded Atlanta Hawks.
On Friday night, Philadelphia looked like they might be playing down to their competition against a Hawks team missing Trae Young, who was out with an illness.
The Sixers allowed Atlanta to score 45 points in the second quarter and went into halftime trailing by six. However, Nick Nurse’s squad finally got it in gear in the fourth quarter, going on a 15-0 run to retake the lead and go on to a 125-114 win.
The only concern is that awkward twist of the knee Embiid experienced in the fourth quarter. The knee clearly bothered him the rest of the competition and, at the time of writing, he is currently questionable for the Sixers’ Monday night contest against the Washington Wizards.