By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Closing time. pic.twitter.com/Ke2YsH3mjT
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 23, 2017
Philadelphia 101, Portland 81 – Box Score
Another night, another ho hum 20-point victory. Such is life for this current iteration of the Philadelphia 76ers. On Thanksgiving Eve, the Sixers took control right from the opening tip; the Blazers missed their first 13 shots from the field as Philadelphia raced out to a 16-0 lead midway through the first quarter. With the way Brett Brown’s club was playing defense, that initial cushion was more than enough.
The 81 Portland points represented the lowest point total the Sixers have allowed this season. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons prowled the area around the rim, Amir Johnson was a steady presence on the back line once again, Robert Covington picked pockets like an Agrabah street urchin, and T.J. McConnell and J.J. Redick hounded the Blazers guards on the perimeter. C.J. McCollum had an ugly 1-14 shooting performance, and while Damian Lillard got his, scoring a game-high 30 points, he will think twice about challenging Embiid in the future.
Joel Embiid spikes Damian Lillard into middle earth pic.twitter.com/mPjEvHNG8I
— TOO MANY GAMES ON (@World_Wide_Wob) November 23, 2017
With his mom sitting courtside, Joel Embiid put forth a strong effort with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Crucially, Brett Brown left Embiid on the court with 4 fouls late in the third quarter; JoJo responded by going on a personal 6-0 run to extend the Sixers lead back to a comfortable double-digit margin. Oh, and he whipped out a SKY HOOK! Embiid is like the guy who did the Evolution of Dance video, but he performs iconic big man moves against the top competition in the world.
Jusuf Nurkic is 7+ feet tall. Looks like an ant vs. Embiid’s skyhook. pic.twitter.com/mgtioIvAnb
— Wobsell Perezbrook (@World_Wide_Wob) November 23, 2017
Embiid’s running mate Ben Simmons was excellent as well, tallying 16 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Bigger forwards like Noah Vonleh and Ed Davis weren’t quick enough, and a wing like Evan Turner wasn’t strong enough to stop Ben from getting to the rim whenever he wanted. Simmons knocked down a handful of pretty floaters and scoop shots, and found his teammates for easy buckets whenever multiple defenders collapsed on him. It’s amazing how controlled he looks at all times, less than 20 games into his NBA career.
The Sixers are now 10-7 on the season, matching their win total from the entire 2015-16 season. The team has won 9 of their last 10 games against teams who aren’t the Warriors. They deserve this. We deserve this. Orlando is the next victim to come to town Saturday night.