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).
It was a short week on the court for the Sixers as we hit the All-Star break, but the Sixers made the most of it. Philadelphia added two games to the win column this week, defeating the Houston Rockets on Monday and Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers are on a four-game win streak taking them to 39-18 and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.
After Wednesday’s contest, Joel Embiid admitted he’s “not healthy”, casting a shadow of doubt over whether he will play in the All-Star Game. I’m sure Sixers fans would rather him sit if he is in any level of discomfort, but we will just have to wait to find out.
The All-Star weekend kicked off Friday with recent Sixers’ signee Mac McClung becoming the first 76er to win the Dunk Contest with an electrifying performance, capped off by a ridiculous 540.
MAC MCCLUNG HITS THE 540. PERFECT SCORE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.#ATTSlamDunk x #StateFarmSaturday— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2023
: Live on TNT pic.twitter.com/ohSyYpMAq6
The Sixers also made a buyout market move this week, signing veteran Dewayne Dedmon. He arrived this week and discussed his move to Philadelphia and his time with the Miami Heat. Dedmon has yet to play for the team, however, and is expected to be available following the All-Star Break.
The Sixers will be back on the court at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night to host the Memphis Grizzlies.
Houston Rockets at Sixers
Result: W, 123-104
Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey
The Sixers cruised to a 123-104 victory over the Houston Rockets in South Philadelphia on Monday night.
The Rockets came out aggressive and dominant in the paint, scoring 20 of their 29 first-quarter points from the painted area and snagging the other nine from the charity stripe. On the back of some sloppy Rockets shooting, the Sixers put together a run that put them up by double-digits, but it was short-lived. The Rockets bounced back as the Sixers went six minutes without a field goal in the second quarter and the half came to a close with the hosts leading 55-48.
The Sixers were able to build on their lead early in the third with Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and James Harden combining for five triples in the first five minutes of the period. Harden ended up with four from beyond the arc in the frame, helping the Sixers build a 12-point lead headed into the fourth. From there, the game became more comfortable for the Sixers and their fans, with the hosts extending their lead to over 20 points and ultimately claiming their third straight win in comfort. Even the starters got some rest down the stretch!
Cleveland Cavaliers at Sixers
Result: W, 118-112
Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid
The Sixers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-112, at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night in the hosts’ last game before the All-Star Break.
Early in the first period, Joel Embiid scored his 10,000th career point, the fastest in Sixers’ franchise history to ever hit the milestone. But that wasn’t the only highlight of the first frame. Five Sixers shot a combined 7-for-8 from long range as they quickly built a 38-point period and a 21-point lead at one point. Even the defense looked good out of the gate, with the Sixers snagging four steals and holding the Cavaliers to just 24 points going into the second frame.
The defensive intensity continued for the Sixers in the second with the bench unit — no, really. Both Paul Reed and Jalen McDaniels led defensively to help counter a bit of a cooling-off period for the Sixers’ shooting, holding the Cavs to just a 14-point second. The hosts carried a 25-point lead into the halftime break.
The Cavaliers chipped at the lead in the third with a 13-0 run, but the Sixers were able to hold a 17-point lead headed into the final frame. It was a lot sloppier than the earlier half for the hosts and the Cavaliers certainly didn’t give up, cutting the deficit back down to single digits as time wound down. Nevertheless, the Sixers were able to outlast the Cavs’ final push, taking a win into the All-Star Break