By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. They were looking to pick-up where they left off as they faced the Portland Trailblazers. Philly was able to keep the momentum going as they used an offensive explosion to beat the Blazers 113-103.
Philly was able to weather an early storm from the Blazers. They were able to hit a couple of their shots and get out to an early lead against the Sixers. Philly was able to retake the lead thanks to their second unit. They scored 40-points and were powered by Sixers power forward Georges Niang who scored 21-points and took full advantage of his increased workload. In the absence of Tobias Harris (Health and Safety Protocols), and Joel Embiid (Rest). Philly really needed somebody to step-up in the absence of their two playmakers. Niang answered the call.
Despite the strong scoring night from Niang and the second unit, the Blazers continued to hang around. At one point they cut the lead to five mid-way through the fourth quarter. Norman Powell powered Portland. He scored 20-points and took full advantage of the paint being left open in the absence of Embiid. He got Philly’s defenders in early foul trouble and hit some tough buckets to keep them in the game.
When Philly needed somebody to close the game out, Seth Curry stepped up and hit some late shots from the perimeter and the three-point line to send the Blazers home. He scored 23-points and hit three three-pointers. Curry is the third leading scorer of the team and Philly needed every bit of his points to get their fifth win of the season.
On what led the team to victory tonight, “We have a next man up mentality. This is a game we knew we had to come in and win. Everybody stepped up and contributed, and this was a big win for us,” said Niang.
It is only the seventh game of the season but a win like this can help the Sixers gain even more confidence. They won this game without Embiid, Harris, and Simmons. These are the type of wins they can build on as a team and use as motivation late in the season and in the playoffs.
Philly now will prepare for the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. They will need another impressive performance on both sides of the ball to keep the new-look Bulls backcourt in check and get their sixth win of the season.