76ers Look to Bounce Back at Home

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (18-10) are back home in South Philadelphia, taking on the Houston Rockets (11-16) for the first time this season.

The Sixers are seeking a bounce-back victory, on the heels of three narrow losses on the road.

Fueled by massive performances from Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris in Joel Embiid’s (back tightness) absence, the Sixers fought throughout against the league-leading Utah Jazz Monday, before falling, 134-123.

“It’s a tough loss to take, but all in all, we were out there fighting for each other tonight,” Harris said Monday.

“We’ve got to go back home, we have to get a quick day’s rest, and be ready for our game at home, and get on a winning streak here.”

Simmons notched a career-high 42 points, plus nine rebounds, 12 assists, a steal, and a block, shooting 15-for-26 from the floor and 12-for-13 from the line. He scored 19 points (7-7 FG) in the first period alone.

Simmons attributed his growth on the court to his work on his mental game:

“Your mental is a huge part of the game. For me, I continue to work on that. I’m just trying to get better, progress my game, and get to the next level.”

Harris tallied a season-high 36 points, plus 10 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He shot 14-for-24 from the field, 3-for-5 from long range, and 5-for-5 from the foul stripe.

“When he plays like that, he’s hard to deal with,” Doc Rivers said of Harris postgame. “I thought he played a very decisive game. He is really keeping the game simple. He’s playing with great force. He’s doing exactly what we believe he can do.”

Returning home for a two-game visit hosting the Rockets and Chicago Bulls (11-15) the Sixers will look to defend their status as the top team in the East, and the top home team in the East (11-2).

Wednesday’s contest tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Rockets have lost six straight heading into their first meeting of the season with the Sixers, which will mark the third and final stop on the Rockets’ East Coast swing.

The team most recently fell in Washington Wednesday, 131-119. Former Wizard John Wall led the way for Houston, scoring 29 points, three rebounds, 11 assists, a steal, and a block. All five Rocket starters finished in double-figures.

Houston has been dealing with a couple key injuries, as new Rocket Victor Oladipo (foot) and Christian Wood (ankle) each missed Monday’s matchup. Oladipo has been out since Feb. 11, and Wood has been out since Feb. 4.

Follow Along:

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / ESPN

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