By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. They faced a hungry Houston Rockets squad tonight in their first game of 2022. The used an offensive explosion to blast the Rockets 133-113.
The Sixers picked up right where they left off on Thursday night. They jumped on the Rockets early. Philly was able to hit their shots early in the game to get out to take the lead. They were led by Joel Embiid who imposed his will on the overmatch Rockets defenders. Embiid was hitting his shots all over the court and there was nothing Houston could do to stop him. He scored 31-points and recorded his third career triple-double. Embiid has continued to dominate whatever team is in front of him. He has scored 30-plus points in the last three weeks. If he continues to round into form, it has helped settle down his team, and they are rocketing up the Eastern Conference standings.
Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid. The Rockets continued to fight throughout the game, and they were able to retake the lead by half-time because of the scoring of Garrison Matthews. He scored 23-points and took full advantage of the increase shooting opportunities in the absence of Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. He hit four three-pointers and Philly had no answers for him early in the game. They made an adjustment by running him off the three-point line and double-teaming him. Forcing someone else to beat them and that stifled the Rockets offensive attack.
The Sixers were able to pull-away in the third quarter thanks to some timely buckets by the second unit. Furkan Korkmaz who was a starter tonight because of Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle being in Health and Safety protocols. He scored 24-points and hit three three-pointers. Korkmaz had a good night tonight and he came out of his mini shooting slump tonight. He will continue to be an important piece as he is a pivotal role player for the Sixers who they depend on not only for his scoring but for his playmaking ability as well.
Philly has won four straight games and now will prepare for the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. They will need to have another balanced scoring night. Additionally, they will need to exhibit more effort perimeter defensively if they want to stifle the backcourt of the Magic and get their 21st win of the season.