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The Weekly Run It Back: Led by Joel Embiid, Sixers win four in a row

It was a stellar week for the Sixers and especially MVP-candidate Joel Embiid.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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).

Well... this week, we are looking at Sunday (March 5) to Sunday (March 12). Back to regularly scheduled programming next week.

The Sixers faced three opponents this week and walked away from each battle as the victors. Monday’s contest at the Indiana Pacers was a defense-optional shootout, with the Sixers edging out the Pacers 147-143. The next night, the second of a back-to-back and the final game of a five-game road trip, Joel Embiid dominated with 39 points to lead the Sixers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-94. The Sixers returned to South Philadelphia Friday night to host the Portland Trail Blazers and former teammate Matisse Thybulle. After diminishing a 21-point deficit, Embiid hit a turnaround, fadeaway jumper to take the lead with 1.1 seconds to go, and ultimately securing the third win of the week for the Sixers. On Sunday night, the Sixers coasted to a 112-93 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards — even earning a few minutes rest for the starters in the process.

Philadelphia is now 45-22 and currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are back in action Wednesday night when they take on the hosting Cleveland Caveliers at 7:30 P.M. EST.

Sixers at Indiana Pacers

Result: W, 147-143

Bell Ringer: Jalen McDaniels

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you appreciate good defense in a basketball game, this was not the game for you. Both teams looked like they decided “well, we can win if we just outscore them instead of stopping them.” The Sixers responded by shooting 58.5 percent from the floor and earned 38 trips to the charity stripe, helping them rack up a season-high 147 points.

Tyrese Maxey continued to thrive back in the starting lineup, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the opening quarter with four triples in the first frame. Joel Embiid put up an insane 42-points.

The real surprise of the game was seeing Jalen McDaniels play his best contest yet in a Sixers jersey. McDaniels shot 8-for-13 from the floor for 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds (two offensive) and had one steal. The Sixers were able to outgun the Pacers, winning 147-143 on Tuesday night.

Sixers at Minnesota Timberwolves

Result: W, 117-94

Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m sure it’s getting redundant to read “Joel Embiid put up a MVP-worthy performance” but, well, he did it again. With James Harden off for the second leg of a back-to-back, the Sixers were put on Embiid’s back almost completely in this one, on both ends of the court. After a 17-point first half for the big man, he exploded for a 22-point third quarter that got the Sixers the separation they needed to coast to a comfortable victory. His impressive 39-point, seven-rebound, three-block stat line becomes even more impressive when you realize he did it all within 28 minutes.

Tyrese Maxey followed in his fifth-straight start with 27 points, and the Sixers coasted to a 117-94 victory to end their five-game road trip.

Portland Trail Blazers at Sixers

Result: W, 120-119

Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Sixers must have wanted to win with some flare, and they certainly did. After depleting a once 21-point deficit, the Sixers were down just one with 7.2 seconds to play and possession of the ball. Harden inbounded the ball to Embiid at the top of the key. Embiid drove into the pain, spun, and hit a turnaround, fadeaway jumper to take the lead for the Sixers with just 1.1 seconds to play. In fact, those 1.1 second were the only time the Sixers had a lead in this one, but it wound up being all that mattered as the hosts stole a win away from the Trail Blazers 119-118.

This win capped off a tremendous week for the Sixers, but especially for Joel Embiid, who had 39 points in this contest, was dominant across the board on both ends of the floor and the sole reason they won at least a couple of these matchups throughout the week.

Washington Wizards at Sixers

Result: W, 112-93

Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid

NBA: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, I know it’s definitely getting redundant now, but Embiid just had a stellar week and capped it off with another great performance Sunday night. It was an eventful first for the big man, who had 14 of the Sixers’ 27 points on 10 shots. That and a 14-point third helped lead to a 34-point, 8-rebound, 4-assist, 4-block appearance for Embiid — another stunning game on both ends of the court, and he did it in just three quarters, earning some rest in the fourth.

Overall, the Sixers put up one of their best two-way performances of the season. The starters played well, and the bench played well enough to snag some rest for the starters down the stretch. The Sixers held Washington to 40.5 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three. The trio of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma — who are all averaging over 20 points a game — shot a combined 13 of 41 (31 percent).

In other news from this game, the Sixers lost Jalen McDaniels who exited in the second period and missed the rest of the night with a right hip contusion.

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