By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
If you're counting, that makes 12. #HereTheyCome
— x – Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 5, 2018
Philadelphia 115, Detroit 108 – Box Score
Joel Embiid and Dario Saric still sidelined? Doesn’t matter.
A Pistons team who entered play on a 5-game winning streak and needed to win to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs? Insignificant.
Anthony Tolliver having the game of his life, shooting 7-8 from behind the arc for 25 points? A minor inconvenience.
Right now, the Sixers are the train in Snowpiercer, barreling down the worldwide track, unimpeded by all opposition. Wednesday night’s win in Detroit made it 12 straight wins for Brett Brown’s club and, even more remarkably, the fourth straight victory without Joel Embiid (five really, if you count the game he was injured).
Although Detroit kept this one semi-competitive (RIP the streak of wins by double digits), the Sixers were in control from the outset. J.J. Redick started the game en fuego, knocking down three first quarter triples, scoring 13 points in the opening frame on his way to a team-high 25 points. The Ringer podcaster shot a sparkling 10-13 from the field and dished out 6 assists. He continues to take a larger role in the offense with Embiid sidelined (25.9 usage rate the last four games compared to 21.4 for the season) and it’s working out just fine.
Marco Belinelli somehow continues to hit every off-balanced jumper imaginable; he made four more threes to finish with 19 points. Richaun Holmes (11 points) dunked everything in sight, as he does. Robert Covington lived up to that “elite” billing defensively from Brett Brown, recording 3 steals and 2 blocks. Ben Simmons had a ho-hum game of 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Oh, and Markelle Fultz attempted a three! It was a buzzer-beater at the end of a quarter and it missed, but at least he doesn’t have some sort of psychological block about taking one in a game. Baby steps!
Here's that three Fultz took to close the third: pic.twitter.com/VxMKWt1Nu4
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) April 5, 2018
The Sixers have the 4th-best net rating in the NBA and are tied for the 5th-best record in the league. They are deadlocked with Cleveland at 48-30 for the third seed in the East. Friday night’s game against the Cavaliers is the biggest game for the franchise since the 2012 playoffs. Will the Sixers train keep rolling down the track, or is LeBron the Chris Evans character? We’ll find out tomorrow night.