The Philadelphia 76ers were down a couple of pieces as they were still without Danny Green as well as missing coach Doc Rivers, Tyler Johnson, and Myles Powell in the health and safety protocols as they prepared for the Brooklyn Nets. Looking to sweep this 3-game road trip, it would be an uphill battle against a Nets team that was getting healthy.
The Sixers knew this would be a challenge to get the job done, but with Joel Embiid continuing to play at such a high level, they were able to get the job done 110-102 on the road. The big fella had himself 22 points at the half alone on his way to 34 points and six rebounds to lead the Sixers in a terrific win while once again facing adversity. Assistant coach Dan Burke served as the acting head coach in place of Rivers.
Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and seven rebounds, Tobias Harris had nine points, six rebounds, and six assists, Seth Curry had 17 points and six assists, and Andre Drummond made his return by pouring in 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Here are the player grades following the win:
Tyrese Maxey: A
The second-year guard had the unenviable task of having to defend Nets star James Harden to start this game, but he did a solid job. Obviously, it’s tough to defend Harden while also trying to run offense and get into a groove offensively, but he did a good job of doing both. Maxey was really aggressive looking for his own shot on the offensive end of the floor and it was good to see while being out there with Embiid. The triples he made in the second half were huge to keep the Sixers in it while the Nets began to catch a rhythm and he made some big ones in the fourth when the Sixers needed it.
Seth Curry: B+
The sharpshooter out of Duke had some really good looks to start this game, but he couldn’t capitalize early. He had a nice strip of Kevin Durant early, but he did struggle on defense. He did knock down one triple in transition which is a good sign for Philadelphia as they move forward with their season. He caught a rhythm in the second half which allowed the Sixers to get into a groove overall. He knocked down a big triple late to give Philadelphia some breathing room. He also continues to impress with his distribution of the ball.
Matisse Thybulle: B+
Like Maxey had to defend Harden, Thybulle was stuck on Durant. The elite defensive wing did force a turnover early and he did force Durant into some really tough shots. Unfortunately for him and the Sixers, Durant is still Durant and he made those tough looks. Thybulle did do some solid things on the offensive end like driving to the basket and finishing on a couple of possessions.
Tobias Harris: C-
His activity was good, but Harris continues to be in a bit of a funk with his shooting. He also made some poor decisions in transition defense, but he did contribute in other areas again. He was attacking the glass, he was making plays with his passing, and he did a solid job in the half-court defensive setting. However, he did miss a lot of bunnies again, and that hurts when Embiid needs help on the offensive end.
Joel Embiid: A+
The big fella finished up his road trip with another strong performance. After going off in their first two games of this trip, Embiid scored 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting and he made two triples in the first quarter alone. He took advantage of every matchup thrown at him and he showed off all of his skills. The Nets did eventually adjust and send more active defenders his way which slowed him down a bit, but whenever Embiid was left 1-on-1 with Nic Claxton or LaMarcus Aldridge, they had no shot defending him.
Andre Drummond: A
In his return to action from the COVID protocols, Drummond was really active on the glass and he was able to take advantage of his size early. He also ran some good pick-and-roll action with Milton in the early going which got him a lob for a slam. He also looked like he was trying to go at former teammate Blake Griffin for the majority of the time he was in there. The only negative thing one can say about Drummond in this one was a couple of bad turnovers when he tried to do a bit too much.
Georges Niang: A
In his initial stint, Niang had a tough run. He had his layup blocked by Durant and he picked up two fouls on the defensive end. In an underrated part of his game, he did make some nice post passes into Embiid to get him the ball. His two triples in the third quarter were essential in keeping the Sixers in it, however, and his triple in the fourth was huge. He continues to prove his worth to this team.
Shake Milton: D
Milton seemed to be moving well in his return from the protocols. He did miss his first couple of opportunities at the basket, but he ran some nice two-man action with Drummond during his time out there. Unfortunately, he had trouble really catching any rhythm in terms of his shot.
Furkan Korkmaz: D-
The fifth-year guard from Turkey did miss all four of his shots, including a pull-up triple, and he did struggle a bit on the defensive end when he was caught in a couple of switches.