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Sixers come back without Joel Embiid and James Harden, finish 5-0 trip

3 observations after shorthanded Sixers erase 21-point deficit, finish 5-0 trip originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers sat their stars on Saturday night and still managed to finish a perfect West Coast road trip.

They came back (and then hung on) for a 129-127 victory over the Kings. After a 5-0 trip, the Sixers are 30-16 and hold sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. 

Joel Embiid (left foot injury recovery) and James Harden (right foot tendon strain injury management) were both out. Harden had played in 21 of the Sixers’ last 22 games, averaging 36.9 minutes during that stretch. Since returning from left foot soreness, Embiid had appeared in six straight contests.

The Sixers survived late, unwanted dram. Up three points with 4.3 seconds remaining, the team aimed to commit a foul on the floor off of the Kings’ sideline out-of-bounds play. However, Matisse Thybulle was called for a shooting foul beyond the arc on Harrison Barnes. The veteran forward missed his first free throw, made his second, and missed his third on purpose. Domantas Sabonis got a hand on the rebound and wanted a whistle, but none came.

The defeat snapped a six-game Sacramento winning streak and dropped the Kings to 26-19. De’Aaron Fox scored 31 points, Barnes 27. Sabonis had 16 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Tyrese Maxey was the Sixers’ top scorer with 32 points. Five of his teammates posted between 14 and 17 points.

The Sixers will be able to acclimate to the East Coast again before they begin a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Nets. Here are observations on their win over the Kings:

Big difference on D 

The Sixers played very strong defense in the first quarter of their win Thursday over the Trail Blazers, holding Portland to a mere 14 points. On Saturday night, the Kings exceeded that number in under five minutes.

The defensive decline was predictable, since Embiid always has a huge impact and Sacramento entered the game with the NBA’s third-best offensive rating, per Cleaning the Glass. Accounting for those factors, the Sixers’ start was still poor. Fox made a couple of early…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/sixers-kings-sixers-come-back-062700161.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports Philadelphia

Publish date : 2023-01-22 06:27:00

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