By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after beating the Houston Rockets on Monday night. They faced the Charlotte Hornets who were looking for their first win against the Sixers in six years. The Hornets were able to use a second quarter offensive explosion to beat Philly 109-98.
The Sixers were able to jump on the Hornets early in the game. They were hitting their shots early on in had the Hornets on their heels. Joel Embiid led them he scored 31-points, his eighth straight 30-point plus performance. He is now tied for the franchise lead with Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson. He kept Philly in the game. Embiid continues to round into form, but he will continue to need help from his teammates if the Sixers want to continue rocketing up the Eastern Conference standings.
The Hornets were able to ride out the early Philly offensive explosion. They were able to destroy the Sixers in the second quarter. They could not hit a shot late in the second quarter, but Gordon Hayward could not miss especially from three. He hit four three-pointers and scored 30-points. He hit his first nine shots and was the difference maker in this game. He did not miss a shot until late in the third quarter. Philly had no answers for him.
“They took that game as ‘We need to win that game,’ and we didn’t meet that challenge,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Despite Hayward’s offensive explosion the Sixers were able to rally late in the game and got the lead down to eight, but a late-game power outage doomed their comeback chances. Philly will need to get a better offensive effort from the role players. Embiid did all he could, but he could not overcome the Hornets tonight and the Sixers will need to find away to get other players going.
Philly will now get a day off to prepare for the Boston Celtics. They will need to improve their perimeter defense if they want to stop the Celtics backcourt and get their 24th win of the season.