By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Philadelphia 114, Detroit 78 – Box Score
The Sixers will be flying across the Atlantic Ocean this weekend for next Thursday’s game in London. The rest of the teams stateside have to be breathing a sigh of relief, because it feels like Philadelphia has finally pieced things together. Brett Brown’s squad entered Friday night having won three straight, and were looking to notch another victory in the budding Joel Embiid-Andre Drummond rivalry.
As the old saying goes though, is it still a rivalry if one side always wins? The Sixers were already 2-0 against Detroit this season. This time around, after Tobias Harris opened the scoring for the Pistons with a jumper, the Sixers scored the next 15 points to take early control of the game. Until some double digit leads in the not-so-distant past, there was no looking back for Philadelphia in this one. The Sixers continued the onslaught to go up 17 after one quarter and 30 at the half. The second half was nothing but more frustration for the Pistons and a chance for Brown to empty out his bench.
Philadelphia’s two All-Star hopefuls left no doubt on the outcome of this one. Joel Embiid certainly handled his end of the business against Drummond, dropping 23 points in just 25 minutes of action. The even more incandescent star was Ben Simmons, who in his 23 minutes on the court, tallied 19 points on 9-13 shooting, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Simmons had at least three plays where he spun his way through the Pistons defense to finish himself or set up a teammate.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 6, 2018
Embiid and Simmons combined for 30 points in the first half, nearly matching the 32 points scored by the Pistons. For the game to be that much of an onslaught though, the Sixers had everyone chipping in. Six different Philadelphia players were at least 50% from three, a group which doesn’t include J.J. Redick, who went 3-8 from behind the arc for 21 points. The Sixers as a whole made 14 of their 30 attempts from downtown to supplement the terrific work on the interior by the Embiid and Simmons tandem.
Meanwhile, the Pistons were basically unraveling before our eyes. Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy picked up a technical, basically for being embarrassed his team was getting blown out so badly. Later, Andre Drummond made two free throws and tried to shush the crowd. Only problem, his team was down 30 points.
andre drummond just hushed the sixers crowd down 30 points lmao pic.twitter.com/NtLWQdAXwr
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) January 6, 2018
Drummond also picked up a technical.
In the end, it’s four straight for the Sixers, who remain undefeated in 2018. Chalk up another one for the Process.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 6, 2018