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Defense optional as Sixers outgun Pacers

The Sixers didn’t play a whole lot of defense, but they used their offensive firepower to beat the Pacers Monday night.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Holy offense, Batman!

The Sixers outlasted the Indiana Pacers in a 147-143 shootout Monday night. Joel Embiid dropped 42 points on 16 shots, Tyrese Maxey scored at least 20 points for the fifth straight game, James Harden dished out 20 assists, and Jalen McDaniels had his best game as a Sixer.

At the start of yet another back-to-back, the Sixers were without some key depth pieces, as Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker missed Monday night’s action with left calf soreness and back spasms, respectively.

Here are some instant takeaways from the win.

First Quarter

  • Jalen McDaniels acclimated himself fairly well to the starting lineup, as he got a layup on the first possession of the game rolling for James Harden. He was also very active on the glass, pulling down five boards in the first, two of them on the offensive end.
  • Another Sixer who really seems to be enjoying life in the starting lineup is Tyrese Maxey. Fourteen of Maxey’s 22 came in the opening quarter as he started the game 5 of 6 from the field, with four of those field goals coming from behind the arc.
  • It’s not a huge shock that the Sixers came out looking flat on the defensive end however, and the Pacers made them pay early. Indiana shot 65 percent to start the game as they held a one-point lead after the first quarter.

Second Quarter

  • Paul Reed’s development over the past couple of weeks is why it was so important to let him play through tough moments. At least once a game now he is able to seal himself for an easy layup. Reed had four points, four rebounds, and a block in the half.
  • It was an important night for Shake Milton, getting some extra minutes as someone who has been on the fringes of the rotation. He got into a rhythm in the second, scoring seven points including going 2 of 3 from three.
  • Despite the Sixers going the last 3:24 of the half without a field goal, both teams still went into the break shooting at least 60 percent from the field. All 20 players who saw first half action got on the scoreboard. Much like his game-winner last night, Tyrese Halliburton hit a near half-court buzzer beater to put the Pacers up by one at the half. Haliburton had 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting, along with nine assists after two quarters.

Third Quarter

  • Myles Turner is one of the best centers in the league and you would never know it if you only watched the Sixers. Embiid once again dominated Turner all night, sending him to the bench with four fouls just two minutes into the second half. Turner ended up fouling out with 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting.
  • The biggest beneficiary of James Harden’s night as a passer was McDaniels. McDaniels shot 8 of 13 on the night, finishing with 20 points along with eight rebounds, both his best marks as a Sixer.
  • Bill Kennedy turning into Perd Hapley to explain the results of replay review will always be funny.
  • There was no cooling off for either of these offenses after the break, but the Sixers were able to hold Indiana to a “measly” 55 percent shooting from the field in the third quarter. The 114 points were the most the Sixers have scored through three quarters this season, but they still found themselves in a tie game heading into the final quarter.

Fourth Quarter

  • Shoutout to Paul Reed for being like one of two players to play defense in this game. He had three blocks on the night, his third being a painful rejection on Chris Duarte in the middle of a 12-2 Sixers run. Reed capped off the run with this pick-and-roll with Danuel House Jr.
  • For as much offense as there was all night, Philly’s shooting went pretty cold down the stretch. They just made only three field goals in the last 6:16 of the game, but the 10-point cushion built by the second unit ended up being enough. Giving up 143 to the Indiana Pacers isn’t the most encouraging thing in the world, but with the Sixers’ schedule down the stretch, they’ll take wins however they come.
  • The Sixers will wrap up their road trip tomorrow night in Minnesota when they take on the Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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