By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to push their win streak to two straight, as they faced the gritty Chicago Bulls. Despite the Bulls making it tough for Philly. They were able to use an MVP scoring effort from center Joel Embiid to beat Chicago 112-105.
It started out looking good for the Sixers they got out to an early lead. Everything was working for the, in the first two quarters they were able to get what they wanted on the offensive end. Chicago’s defenders could not stop them from the perimeter or from the paint. Embiid in particular imposed his will throughout this game. By half-time he had 25 of his 50-points. He continued to power the Sixers on both ends of the floor.
On Embiid’s performance, “I’ll tell my kids one day that I played with Joel Embiid. When they ask who was the best player I played with, I’ll say Joel Embiid,” said forward Tobias Harris.
Despite Embiid’s scoring the Bulls were able to stay in the game because Philly had a difficult time putting them away. Especially when Embiid would rest. During those times Chicago was able to take advantage of Philly’s bench inability over the last few games to put teams away. They are missing guard Shake Milton who is out because of a sprain ankle. The bench will need to find a way to unlock somebody else otherwise Doc Rivers will have to find a way to keep a starter in there with the bench unit.
Chicago was able to use a late fourth quarter 8-0 scoring run to take a one-point lead. They were able to take advantage of a dumb turnover from rookie Tyrese Maxey. After that the floodgates opened for Chicago. Guard Zach Lavine who was held relatively in check by the defense of guard/forward Matisse Thybulle. Lavine was able to hit three late buckets to make cut the lead to two. He was a terror in the fourth quarter for Chicago. He scored 30-points.
On Thybulle, “Matisse was like the secret sauce tonight. He was so huge tonight defensively,” said Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Philly needed a turnaround fade-away shot from Embiid to put the game away. Thanks to a late-game scoring effort from Embiid and some tough perimeter defense from Thybulle. Philly was able to keep the gritty Bulls down. However, they cant always rely on Embiid’s scoring and will need to get a more balanced performance from somebody else. They clearly missed Ben Simmons who missed his second straight game because of a bout with stomach flu.
Philly now faces a tough two-game series with the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and Tuesday. They will need to find away to unlock their bench and get somebody else to join Embiid and forward Tobias Harris in the more than 10-points scoring club to beat the Raptors.