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).
As for Sixers news this week, Joel Embiid was selected as a reserve for the All-Star Game, as expected after he was not picked as a starter. But there was one surprise — no James Harden. Despite being on pace to lead the league in assists per game as well as currently sitting seventh on the MVP ladder, the guard was left off the All-Star squad, prompting a number of online responses from teammates.
This week was a mixed bag for the Sixers in terms of games. Their win-streak was cut short on Monday with a disastrous loss at home to the Orlando Magic. The Sixers hosted the Magic again Wednesday night and were able to get the victory in the revenge game. They closed out the week strong with a win on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
As of Sunday morning, the Sixers are 34-17 and sit third in the Eastern Conference. They will continue their short road trip on Sunday night at the New York Knicks.
Didn’t catch the games this week? No problem, we have you covered.
Orlando Magic at Sixers
Result: L, 119-109
Bell Ringer: Matisse Thybulle
This is one I’m sure the Sixers would rather forget. Their seven-game winning streak was snapped when they blew a 21-point lead to the Orlando Magic at home Monday night. From the jump, the Sixers had all the positive momentum, taking an almost-instant double digit lead. Tobias Harris looked good early, Matisse Thybulle played some of his best minutes all season in the first half, everything seemed like the Sixers were primed for their eighth-consecutive win... until Paolo Banchero decided to step it up. The first overall pick had just four points with four minutes left in the first half, but by the time we were headed to the fourth, suddenly he had 27 points and the Magic had the lead. The Sixers’ offense started to flail, and the defense couldn’t get the stops needed to build any sort of run. The Sixers fell 119-109 to start off the week.
Orlando Magic at Sixers
Result: W, 105-95
Bell Ringer: James Harden
The scheduling gods gave the Sixers a quick chance at a do-over after their Monday loss to the Magic, with Orlando back in the Wells Fargo Center to do it all again Wednesday night. This edition was a lot kinder to the hosts, with the Sixers leading for most of this one, thanks in no small part to an abysmal 6-for-39 night beyond the arc from Orlando. Sometimes the bench unit looked a little shaky, but there was little the Magic could seem to do when Embiid or Harden were on the floor. Harden was just one rebound off a triple-double with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists. Not only that, but the Beard hit a season-high six three-pointers to help secure a 105-95 victory for the Sixers.
Sixers at San Antonio Spurs
Result: W, 136-123
Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey
The Sixers began a three-game road trip to close their week on Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Philadelphia came out with a sloppy, sleepy start, with a number of turnovers forcing head coach Doc Rivers to call a timeout before the game was even two minutes in. Regardless, the Sixers were able to keep it close, with the bench unit providing a much needed boost, outscoring the Spurs’ bench 67-40. Three members of the Sixers’ bench ended up scoring in the double-digits, including Tyrese Maxey. Maxey had struggled a bit in the first two games of the week, but was in form Friday night, scoring 25 points to help build and secure the lead and victory for the Sixers. Oh, and another typical 30+ point performance from Embiid too.