Philly demolishes struggling Clippers, 122-97, half-game back of first in East
The Sixers with another outstanding performance late Friday night in LA, absolutely routing the Clippers by 25 with a score of 122-97. Philly wins their third straight and are 5-1 in their last six, currently tied for the top spot in the East in the loss column. This team put together a fascinating group display with every single starter getting double-digits in points, and eight of the nine guys on the bench getting some minutes as well. The two spotlight players were, you guessed it, James Harden and, the MVP frontrunner, Joel Embiid. This dynamic duo combined for 56 points and allocated just about half of the total rebounds, not even including that they both picked up double-doubles. Harden grabbed 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists, while shooting a perfect 11-11 from the charity stripe. Since he came to Philly back in February, he has been averaging a double-double with 10 assists and 23 points. I think it is safe to say that he has settled fairly well in his 13 games played for Philadelphia.
Philly never let off the gas pedal in this one, the only time they were losing was at the nine minute and 35 second mark in the first quarter, not even three minutes into the game. The Sixers then went on a dazzling outscoring first quarter of 35-19, not a quarter the Clippers would want to remember. Philly then put up 29 points in each of the next three quarters to close out Los Angeles. As mentioned, all five starters got some baskets, Thybulle with 13, Tobias Harris with 12, and Maxey with 11. Matisse and Maxey had a solid defensive game, in which they combined for 5 steals and 2 blocks. Heading to the bench side of things, A quiet night from Niang with nothin’, and Danny Green and Paul Reed picking up 8. Reed had a better game tonight, almost quadrupling his points average and getting 3 steals and a block too. Philly shot 43% from downtown last night, who are a top 10 3-PT% team in the league, as well as only missing 3 of their 24 free throws. Overall, a great team win.
With this win, the Sixers improved to 46-27, sitting in the second place spot in the East, just a half game back of the Heat with only 9 games left to go in the regular season. The postseason is creeping right up on us and I think it will be extremely interesting to, finally, see a good Philly team do something in the playoffs. I believe that this team has what it takes to make a deep playoff run, but that all starts with consistency, which is not something this team, and the Sixers as a whole, is necessarily known to be good at. I strongly think that we can beat anybody in this league, we just have to stick to our playing nature and get the job done to bring home a championship title to Broad Street.
The 76ers head down to the great state of Arizona to face the (how can I say this in a non intimidating way) best team in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are setting franchise season records left, right, and center. This is a team that is led by veteran Chris Paul and the phenom Devin Booker, who is coming off of a hot 49-point game against the Denver Nuggets. They currently sit in first place in the Western Conference at a league-leading 60-14 record, who already clinched the best record in the league. This game will definitely be exciting to watch, Philly, who has a conference leading 25-11 record on the road, will hope to come out strong and take down this great team. These two have only seen each other once this year, Phoenix taking it home with a 114-109 victory back in early February. This game tips off at 6 PM ET this Sunday, March 27th on NBC Sports Philadelphia. As the season comes to a close, we can only hope for a win. Tune in to cheer on our beloved Philadelphia 76ers!