By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after falling to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. They faced a game Cleveland Cavaliers squad, who were looking to get their first win of the season over the 76ers. Philly used a fourth quarter offensive explosion to beat the Cavs 118-114.
Philly jumped on the Cavs from the opening tip-off. They started the game hot hitting their first few shots. The Sixers were threatening to run Cleveland off their home floor as they had a 17-point lead by half-time. Joel Embiid led them he scored 35-points, grabbed 17-rebounds, and had five assists. Embiid was able to get whatever he wanted from the floor. Jarrett Allen missed this game because of a sore knee. Embiid took full advantage of Cleveland having no one on their team who could stop him. He attacked the paint and he made them pay for daring to leave him open or double team him. His playmaking continues to be monumental for the Sixers. He found Tyrese Maxey late in the game to hit the game-winning three-pointer for Philly. Embiid has grown in the area of trusting his teammates and helping them get high percentage shots this season. If he continues this the Sixers can be a scary team in the playoffs.
On Joel Embiid trusting his teammates, “We had to make plays for each other. We had to trust each other. That’s a big pass for Joel – he trusted me. If he puts his trust in me, I’ll do whatever I’m capable of doing to knock it down,” said Maxey.
Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid. The Cavaliers weathered the early storm and made their move in the third quarter. They scored 31-points that quarter and made Philly pay for daring to give them space to put up a shot. Darius Garland led them he scored 22-points. The Sixers made him work for every shot he took. He only made five/15 shots; the Sixers refused to let him beat them. They forced him to get the ball out of his hands and made his teammates beat them. None of the Cavaliers role players made them pay for that decision.
Philly did blow another big lead, but unlike the last few games they showed up defensively. Their perimeter defense bailed them out against the Cavs. Especially when Cleveland made their run in the last two quarters. Philly had their best effort on defense in the past few weeks. If they turn up the heat on the defensive end, they can make some noise in the loaded Eastern Conference.
The Sixers will now prepare for the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. This marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for them. They will need to have another balanced scoring night. Additionally, they will need to play better perimeter defense if they want to stop Luka Doncic and get their 43rd win of the season.