By: Kylan Watson
As the Philadelphia 76ers road trip came to an end they faced a Houston Rockets squad that was looking to use their athleticism to run Philly off the floor. It took two overtimes but the Rockets were able to outexecute Philly down the stretch and that propelled them to a 132-123 victory over the Sixers.
The Sixers were clearly upset after letting the game get away from them on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. They picked up where they left off as Tobias Harris hit seven three-pointers (new career high) and scored 27-points. His continued emergence over this stretch has been pivotal to keeping Philly above water. He also saved plenty of possessions with his clutch shot making. When the Rockets would key in on him, Joel Embiid picked his teammates up. He scored 39-points and Philly needed all of those unfortunately he could not stay out of foul trouble as he fouled out of this game. Rockets took full advantage of the open paint and were able to run Philly out of the building. The execution down the stretch was terrible for Philly. Some of it was tired legs, but they cannot continue to play disorganized basketball and expect to win. The Sixers need to get it together on the offensive stretch. It should look better now that Harden is back, but the Sixers have to make the decision to not beat themselves like they did tonight.
Houston took full advantage of the Sixers sloppiness and ran them off the floor. They played like a team with nothing to lose and got the results of their aggressive play. The duo of Jalen Green (27-points) and Kevin Porter Jr. (24-points) combined for 51 of Houston’s 132-points and Philly just had no answers for their athleticism. They just did not have the legs or the length to slow them down. The Rockets best possessions tonight came when they decided that besides Joel Embiid there was not a credible defender on the floor that could stop them. They made the Sixers pay late in the second overtime as they made three-pointers that did not fall early in the game. The younger team beat the more veteran team because of execution and the Sixers need to get organized as they head back to Philly for a home stretch that starts with playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. If the Sixers expect to get their 14th victory of the season they need to up their defensive intensity and feed the hot hand on the offensive end whether that is Tobias Harris or Joel Embiid.