Joel Embiid, Marco Belinelli begin take over in third quarter
The third quarter was arguably where the Sixers won the game on Monday. Embiid and Belinelli combined for 23 points as the Sixers outscored the Hornets 32-14. Embiid hit three of his four three-pointers and Belinelli hit three of his five treys in the third quarter, but it wasn’t just about the offensive efficiency. The Sixers gave up four turnover but didn’t allow the Hornets to convert any of the miscues into points on the other end. The Sixers held Charlotte to just 4-of-21 from the field in the 12-minute stretch. The energy on both ends carried over into the fourth quarter, where the Sixers still needed to work to stave off the Hornets, but the momentum had already been built. Embiid finished with a game-high 25 points and 19 rebounds and Belinelli finished with 21 points.
Ben Simmons’ ninth triple-double
Some times there are double-doubles and triple-doubles that are a little empty, they don’t really tell a true story. But Simmons’ statline against the Hornets said a lot about not only the game but Simmons’ ability to adapt and change his game. The Hornets plan was to limit Simmons’ touches in the paint and keep him from getting to the rim so easily, so he pushed into hyperdrive as a distributer, dishing out 15 assists. Because he wasn’t getting to the rim the ease that he’s used to his 11 points were earned on runners and at the free throws line. Finally, on a night when Embiid finished with 19 rebounds, Simmons still managed to stay engaged and scrappy, pulling down 12 rebounds of his own.