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).
Though much of the city may have been focused on another major sporting event anchoring the week, the Sixers had an eventful week too with four games throughout and the trade deadline hitting Thursday afternoon.
Focus shifted midweek to the looming trade deadline. As trades and names began flying as time wound down, it looked like the Sixers weren’t going to do much of anything — and really, they didn’t. The only move they made was trading Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers and acquired Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team trade. McDaniels made his debut for the Sixers coming off the bench on Saturday evening.
Back on the court, the Sixers closed out the week strong in South Philadelphia, with a Tyrese Maxey-led win over the Knicks on Friday night and a come-from-behind win over the Nets Saturday night.
The Sixers are now 36-19 and sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Sixers at New York Knicks
Result: L, 108-97
Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid
The Sixers’ eight-game win streak on the road was cut short Sunday evening as they fell 108-97 to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
This was a rough one to start out a week. The Sixers were up early on the Knicks thanks to offensive bursts from Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker. No, seriously. Tucker had seven point in the first frame. A horrendous stint from the Philadelphia bench unit turned a once 21-point Sixers’ lead into a close competition. The Knicks still trailed slightly until the final frame when a 10-0 run pushed them ahead, where they remained until the final whistle.
This was a self-inflicted loss. The bench was terrible and the starters weren’t much better down the stretch. In the fourth, the Sixers shot 3-for-16 from the floor and were extremely lazy on rebounding as time wound down, allowing the Knicks to hold on to their lead and snag the win away. It was the first victory of the season for the Knicks at home when trailing entering the fourth period.
Sixers at Boston Celtics
Result: L, 106-99
Bell Ringer: James Harden
The Sixers had a chance to grab a quick conference win over a the shorthanded Celtics who were missing Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III, but they simply couldn’t get it done, falling 106-99 in Boston.
The Celtics were even dealt another blow mid-game when Jaylen Brown exited early after taking an elbow to the face from teammate Jayson Tatum. Defensive struggles marred the Sixers’ performance throughout, resulting in a flurry of long-range, wide-open shots for the Celtics. Boston shot 19-of-35 from beyond the arc.
Embiid’s 28 points and Harden’s 26 were not enough to overcome the Celtics, and the Sixers fell 106-99 on the road.
New York Knicks at Sixers
Result: W, 119-108
Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey
The Sixers were given a quick chance to redeem themselves after dropping their road game at the Knicks earlier in the week, and they took advantage. On the back of a great performance by Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers got back in the win column with a 119-108 victory in South Philadelphia.
This was a great game for Maxey, especially after he had been going through a bit of slump in the past week or so in his role as sixth man. He started off well, scoring double digits in the first half. His biggest moment, however, came in the third quarter when he stole an inbounds pass, and hit a pull-up three. Up until that point, the Sixers and Knicks were trading baskets for the majority of the third quarter. This 27-point performance is exactly what the Sixers are looking for, a spark on the sometimes extremely lackluster bench unit, and he certainly provided that Friday night.
Another note on this one is that Paul Reed was given his first real crack at backup center minutes over Montrezl Harrell. Reed played just under 10 minutes, finishing with four rebounds and two steals. Most importantly, he was a +4 in his time on the floor. He only fouled twice, and was serviceable in this game.
Oh, and Embiid had 35 points. The usual.
Sixers at Brooklyn Nets
Result: W, 101-98
Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid
The Sixers snagged a late 101-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in New York City on Saturday evening.
The visitors were lucky to go into halftime down just eight after an uneven effort in the first half. Embiid and Harden had 17 points each, but the rest of the starters — Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker — combined for just three points going into the break.
The Sixers were able to string together a few stops in the fourth and suddenly the game was separated by just one point with 12 seconds to play. Harden missed a lay-up with time winding down but Embiid was able to grab the rebound and draw a shooting foul, sinking both from the line and taking the lead for the Sixers. The Nets had a good look from close range but missed, allowing Harden to draw a foul and extend the Sixers’ lead to three. Spencer Dinwiddie sank a logo three to send the game to overtime… for a second, but the bucket was overturned for still being in Dinwiddie’s hands as time expired.
Also notable in this one was Jalen McDaniels kicking off his time as a Sixer. The forward had five points, four rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes played for the visitors.