By: Kylan Watson
After a comeback victory on Sunday night. The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to push their three-game win streak to four as they faced the Charlotte Hornets in a primetime match-up. Philly was able to use another hot scoring night from Joel Embiid to torch the Hornets 118-11.
It was not looking good early on for Philly, they suffered an early power outage. Starting 0/4 from the field. Just when they needed it most down by six a returning and well rested Embiid appeared. Like the “Human Torch” Embiid said flame on. He torched the Charlotte defenders and by the end of the first quarter had 13 of his 34-points in the first quarter. He also made an impact on the defensive side too as he single-handedly shut down the paint for the Hornets. They had to hoist up shots from beyond the arc and the perimeter. On one particular play Hornets forward Gordon Hayward was driving to the basket and looking to pass it for an easy dunk to his teammates, and Embiid picked his pocket and took the ball. With his performance tonight Embiid not only showed he is an early MVP candidate, but also a contender for Defensive Player of the Year.
On the first quarter performance, “[The first quarter] was a glimpse of how good we could potentially be,” said guard Danny Green.
This game was basically decided in the first two quarters the Sixers scored 64 of their 118-points in the first half. However, Charlotte would not give-up they were able to cut Philly’s lead to five late in the game. This scoring run was powered by Hayward and rookie guard LaMelo Ball who combined for 44-points. Despite their efforts Philly turned the flame on, and scorched them on the defensive end. They forced Charlotte into 16 turnovers.
On the team performance during this game, “We’re better than we played in the second half, but we couldn’t be much better in the first half,” said Head Coach Doc Rivers.
This was one of the best offensive nights for Philly who are heading into a tough two-game stretch as they face the Portland Trailblazers tomorrow and then the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. They will need strong performances like this on both sides of the ball if they want to push the win streak to six, and continue to show they are a championship contender.