By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after being destroyed by the Portland Trailblazers on Saturday night. They faced a hungry Sacramento Kings squad that was looking to extend the misery for the Sixers. Philly was able to ride a late game offensive explosion to beat the Kings 102-94.
It started out well for Philly they were able to hit their shots early, despite being extremely shorthanded. They only dressed nine guys tonight. Those nine players were very effective as they were able to keep the Kings at bay throughout this game. They were led by Tyrese Maxey who scored 24-points and had it working on both sides of the ball. He was able to get what he wanted from the field and it did not matter who was in front of him. He was hitting shots from the three-point line, perimeter, and the paint. Maxey was especially clutch tonight as Philly was missing Tobias Harris (knee injury), Seth Curry (back tightness), Danny Green (strained hamstring), and Joel Embiid (covid protocols). Maxey was extremely important as he was the best player on the court for Philly and he played like it. He also got his teammates involved as well. He is maturing in this young season and the more he takes advantage of these opportunities. The more he gains the trust of his coach and cements himself as the future of 76ers franchise, and the fourth scorer behind Embiid, Harris, and Curry.
Despite the offensive explosion from Maxey. The Kings weathered the early storm and retook the lead late in the third quarter. They were led by De’Aaron Fox (23-points) and Buddy Hield (21-points) who combined for 44-points. They could not be stopped on the offensive end. They torched the Sixers from the three-point line, perimeter, and the paint. It did not matter who Philly put on them they made them pay throughout the game for daring to play lax defense on them. A pivotal moment in the game happened late in the third quarter when Doc Rivers put Matisse Thybulle on Hield. That effectively stifled the Kings offense and allowed Philly to get back in the game. Without the scoring of Hield the Kings fell apart.
On the defensive play of Thybulle, “Matisse shut it down. That’s what Matisse does,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Philly took full advantage of the Kings mistakes and went on a late offensive rally to retake the lead. Thanks to some late clutch buckets by guard Shake Milton who hit two late jump shots from the free throw line to ice the game for Philly. He scored 16-points and Philly needed all those points to keep the Kings at bay.
Philly will now head into a pivotal game against the Golden State Warriors. They will hopefully get a few of their big pieces back for this game. Even if they are missing pieces they will need to have an impressive defensive performance to keep the Warriors backcourt in check. If they want their 11th win of the season and prove that they are a championship contender.