By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. They faced the short-handed Charlotte Hornets who were looking to get their first victory in franchise history over Philly. It was not to be though as the Sixers used an offensive explosion to beat the Hornets 127-124.
The Sixers did not start the game off well. They were missing shots and did not play like a team that had two days off. They were down by 13-points at the end of the first quarter. It took an offensive explosion from their second unit to get them back into it. Just like Friday night against the Hawks, the second unit played a pivotal role in helping Philly keep the deficit close enough. Philly was able to get back into the game and retake the lead by half-time thanks to center Joel Embiid. He picked up right where he left off on Friday. It did not matter who the Hornets put on him he made them pay from the perimeter and the paint. Embiid scored 16 of his 43-points by half-time. He still maybe recovering from covid, but it seems like he is slowly working his way back to himself and that could be deadly for the rest of the league.
Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid. The Hornets hung tough and were able to take full advantage of some miscues by Philly. At times they played like the hungrier team, and they were beating Philly to the ball and were able to make some pivotal baskets to tie the game. They were powered by Kelly Oubre who scored 35-points. It did not matter who Philly put on him he made them pay for daring to give him space. The Hornets were missing a lot of pivotal pieces like LaMelo Ball who is in the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.
The Hornets were able to send the game into overtime. However, in that period the Sixers took over the game. Embiid hit some clutch baskets to put the Sixers in front and they did not look back. Philly will now get a day off as they prepare to face the Hornets again on Wednesday night. They will need to have another great defensive effort if they want to stifle the offense of Charlotte and get their 14th win of the season.