The surging 76ers and Indiana Pacers carry winning streaks into their clash on Sunday in Philadelphia.
The 76ers, who also will host the Pacers on Tuesday in an NBA in-season tournament game, recorded their seventh straight victory with a 114-106 triumph over the reeling Detroit Pistons on Friday.
Indiana, in turn, notched its third consecutive win on Thursday by overcoming a 54-point performance from two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for a 126-124 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid collected 33 points and 16 rebounds on Friday for his sixth consecutive double-double. The reigning NBA MVP went 16-for-19 from the free-throw line, marking a season high in both made shots and attempts from the charity stripe.
Tyrese Maxey added 29 points to go along with 11 assists, which marked the third time this season that he reached double digits in the latter category.
“We can’t be a one-man team or a two-man team — we need to get production from Tobias, (De’Anthony) Melton and Kelly (Oubre, Jr.),” 76ers coach Nick Nurse said. “We know there are times when teams are going to have to put two guys on Joel or two guys on Tyrese, and we’ve got to be able to take advantage of those situations.”
Philadelphia rebounded from a 16-point deficit in the first half to lead by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter. The 76ers answered a cool 30.2 percent shooting performance over the first two quarters with a hot 55 percent effort over the last two.
“I think it speaks a little bit to our composure,” Nurse said. “I think that’s the word I’d use. We don’t ever look like we’re too frantic about trying to find our next player, or our next shot, or our next action.
“It kind of goes to the mentality of the game. I didn’t feel us getting very frantic even though they were kicking our backsides pretty good there.”
Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton collected his seventh double-double in eight games this season after recording 29 points and 10 assists on Thursday. He made 10 of 17 shots from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range for the Pacers, who shot 47.8 percent overall and 41.7 percent (20 of 48) from beyond the arc.
“We’re playing really well right now. … I feel like we’re handling things the right way,” Haliburton said. “Everybody’s contributing. We probably have truthfully the best bench in the NBA right now. Everybody’s doing a good job of starting quarters, ending quarters, and just figuring out ways to win. We’re rolling right now.”
Bennedict Mathurin added his first career double-double with a season-high 26 points and 11 rebounds.
“I had a tough start to the season and I’m going to have bad games, having such a long season,” Mathurin said. “The main thing for me is just to be myself every single day. The main thing for us is to win. I’m willing to do everything in order for us to win.”
–Field Level Media
For the first time in two years, BYU is ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. That may come as a surprise to some. After all, the No. 19 Cougars…
UConn is the defending national champion, yet the Huskies have a major chip on their shoulders. No. 4 UConn doesn’t feel it is receiving the proper respect for its accomplishments…
No. 1 Purdue stormed through the early part of its nonconference schedule without a setback. Now, the Boilermakers will bring an unblemished record into their Big Ten conference opener. Purdue…
Defending champ UConn seeks respect in top-5 clash at Kansas
No. 1 Purdue anticipates stern test vs. Northwestern
No. 6 Houston takes unbeaten show on road vs. Xavier
Up-and-down teams clash as Clippers face Warriors