The 76ers (23-14) have a shot to cap a perfect three-game homestand Friday, hosting the Chicago Bulls (17-21) for the second of four meetings between the two teams this season.
The Sixers won their first matchup with the Bulls on Oct. 29, 114-109, in Chicago.
Joel Embiid led the way for the Sixers in that win, finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal. DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points, three rebounds, and four assists.
Embiid missed Wednesday’s 129-126 overtime win over the Pacers (left foot soreness). As of Thursday’s injury report, Embiid is out Friday versus Chicago.
In Embiid’s absence, the Sixers saw contributions across the board, with seven players finishing in double figures.
Montrezl Harrell had a season-high night, recording 19 points. Doc Rivers commended Harrell’s performance postgame:
“[Harrell] was great. We talk about being a star in your role every night. He did exactly what his role said he should do: be the low man on defense. He was there all night.”
James Harden, Wednesday’s leading scorer, agreed.
“Huge. Huge. With Joel [Embiid] being out, Montrezl [Harrell] was playing well on both ends of the ball. Just a true vet.”
The Bulls are 6-4 in their last 10 games, most recently beating Brooklyn, 121-112, Wednesday in Chicago.
DeRozan (22 pts) was the team’s leading scorer once again. He leads Chicago in scoring and sharing this season, averaging 26.6 points and 4.9 assists per game.
Zach LaVine averages 22.4 points per game, while Nikola Vučević averages 16.8 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (10.5 rpg).
Friday’s matchup is a 7:00 p.m. ET start.
Wednesday’s Key Performances
- Harden finished with a game-high 26 points, plus six rebounds, eight assists, a steal, and two blocks in 43 minutes of play.
- Harris notched a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, with three assists and a block in his 39 minutes.
- Melton, who delivered a clutch 3-pointer in overtime, finished his outing with 19 points and seven rebounds, shooting 7-for-15 from the field and 5-for-8 from long range.
- Harrell recorded an extremely efficient season and bench-high 19 points, shooting 8-for-9 overall, plus five rebounds and four blocks.
- In his third game back from injury (left foot fracture), Maxey finished with 17 points, five rebounds, six assists, and a steal in 37 minutes - his highest minute total since his return.
Quote to Note:
Montrezl Harrell on closing a big game in OT:
“It's not my first time. I've been around [Head Coach Doc Rivers] for a while now. I've spent a good amount of time with him with the [Los Angeles Clippers]. I've been in those same types of situations where it came down to us having to get stops and, you know, having to clear them off in order to win games down there.”