By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers entered tonight’s prime-time match-up with the undefeated Orlando Magic looking to make a statement. They made an emphatic statement as they finally got an offensive explosion from their starters, and destroyed the Magic 116-92. They are now 4-1 in the wide open Eastern Conference.
Early in the first quarter the Sixers were able to hit most of their shots. It did not matter if they took them from the paint or the perimeter. By the end of the first quarter the Sixers were shooting 50 percent from the field. That allowed them to get out to a 21-point lead, and they didn’t let up in the second quarter either as by half-time they were up by 33-points.
Center Joel Embiid, forward Tobias Harris, and guard Seth Curry combined for 44-points by half-time, and by the end of it they combined for 62-points. Both Curry and Harris were able to do the majority of their damage from the perimeter.
Curry hit a season high five threes and scored 21-points. His blossoming chemistry with Embiid was really on display tonight as Curry was able to take advantage of the two-man game and wide open shots Embiid created for him.
On his performance and comfort with the offense, “Yeah, I mean, I’m feeling comfortable and getting better every game. Just knowing my spots and knowing how to find shots within the offense,” said Curry.
Harris had another solid game he scored 20-points and like Curry he was deadly from the perimeter. He hit three shots from beyond the arc. When the Magic defenders closed in on him he was able to attack the basket.
The Sixers who came in as the 25th ranked team in three pointers made, looked like a top-10 team in the league from beyond the arc tonight. They hit 15/33 from three. Easily one of their best game as a team the three-point line. It was such a good night for them that even guard Ben Simmons and center Dwight Howard hit a three-pointer.
On his contributions, “I could have no points – If we’re up 50, I’m happy. I’m coming out here to win,” said Simmons.
If they can even get half of that for the rest of the season they will be a problem in the Eastern Conference.
Their coach thinks they can be better, “There’s no doubt we can play better. There’s still another level and I told them at halftime. They probably didn’t believe me,” said head coach Doc Rivers.
The Magic for their part did not give-up and they kept trying to cut in to the lead, at one point early in the third quarter they cut it to a 30-point lead. They were led by center Nikola Vucevic who scored 19-points and grabbed 10-rebounds. His efforts were negated not only by the insurmountable lead the Sixers had, but the length of Philly defense clearly gave the shooters for the Magic problems. They were not able to get any open looks.
The Sixers broke a four-game losing streak in Orlando tonight. They will now head into a two-game series with the young and hungry Charlotte Hornets on Saturday and Monday. They will definitely need to keep up their offensive and defensive prowess to keep the shooters of the Hornets in check, if they want to pull out a victory in this series.