Joel Embiid comes alive
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Embiid wave on the crowd and look cocky against an opponent. He almost always plays well but it’s when he’s feeling good and interacting with the fans that you can tell he’s on to something. He started out the night questionable because of ankle soreness but started out the game with two straight three pointers en route to his 24-point, 16-reboud double-double. He helped hold Anthony Davis to just 14 points making Davis look lost when Embiid was on the floor.
Sixers defense wins
The Sixers held the Pelicans to a season-low 82 points. New Orleans’ previous season low was 91 points in a loss to the Grizzlies in their season opener. In the first quarter the Sixers held the Pelicans to just 14 points. In the third quarter the Pelicans only scored 11 points. That’s good for two of the Pelicans’ five lowest-scoring quarters this season. For perspective, New Orleans combined for 25 points in the first and third quarters, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid combined for 24 points in the first quarter alone.
Dario Saric strong
Speaking of which, what a night for The Homie. Saric finished the night 8-of-11 with five rebounds and four assists to add to his 24 points. Saric is shooting 54.9 percent through the last four games and now has 32 straight games in double digits. Saric finished the night plus-32 and was named player of the game and rightfully so. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Saric might be the most consistent player on the Sixers.
Perfect end to first night of back-to-back
The Sixers were able to rest their starters for almost the entirety of the fourth quarter. Since Embiid is now available to play in back-to-back games and with the Clippers in town on Saturday, the rest was the perfect way to finish out the first of their back-to-back games.
Reserves hold on to the lead
The rest was justified because after the starters sat down the Sixers were able to stay ahead and close out on a positive note. Justin Anderson hit two threes and finished with eight points as the bench combined for 19 points. That may not seem like a huge amount, but the Sixers didn’t need much, already having built up a 35-point lead.