By: Kylan Watson
As the NBA season winds down the Philadelphia 76ers had some things to work out on the offensive end before the playoffs start. After beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. They faced a hungry Indiana Pacers squad that wanted to stop their momentum. The Sixers made it rain from beyond the arc and drowned the Pacers 131-122.
The Sixers jumped on Indiana from the opening tip-off they were able to hit their shots early in the game. They hit 17 three-pointers by half-time and that helped Philly get a 27-point lead over Indiana by half-time. As a team they made 23 three-pointers (New franchise record). Joel Embiid (45-points, and grabbed 13-rebounds) and Tyrese Maxey (30-points) led them. They combined for 75 of Philly’s 128-points and they got whatever they wanted against the overmatched Pacers. Maxey hit eight three-pointers (New franchise record), he had been in a scoring slump the last few games. However, if he can carry tonight’s performance over into the playoffs this will be a crucial development for Philly. Maxey becoming a consistent three-point shooter will give Joel Embiid and James Harden more room to operate and make teams rethink their defensive schemes as he can also attack the paint if a team tries to chase him off the three-point line.
On Embiid’s dominance, “The things he does on the basketball court…you can’t compare it to anybody,” said Maxey.
Indiana refused to give-up though they used a scoring explosion in the third and fourth quarter to put a scare into Philly. They cut the 27-point lead to a nine-point lead by the end of the game. Buddy Hield (25-points) and Tyrese Haliburton (21-points) led them. They combined for 46 of the Pacers 122-points. Both made the Sixers pay for daring to give them open looks. The Sixers made some defensive adjustments in the second half to force both into some difficult shots and their other teammates could not make them pay for focusing their attention on them.
Philly now will prepare for their Toronto Raptors on Thursday night. They will need another balanced scoring night to keep up with the explosive offense of the Raptors. Additionally, they will need to improve their perimeter defensive scheme if they want to stop Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, and get their 50th win of the season.