The 76ers’ (49-25) four-game road trip comes to a close Monday, visiting the Denver Nuggets (50-24) for the second and final regular season meeting between the two teams.
The Sixers will look to snap a two-game skid after shorthanded losses to the Warriors and Suns on Friday and Saturday.
Tyrese Maxey proved a bright spot in Saturday’s 125-105 loss at Phoenix, finishing with a game-high 37 points, including seven 3-pointers, on 14-for-19 shooting.
Maxey has averaged 26.4 points per game over his last five games.
Postgame, the third-year Sixer reflected on finding his stride in the latter half of the season, after missing six weeks (left foot fracture) in the fall.
“I got out of my own head, got out of my own way. And I’m 100% healthy now. My foot isn’t bothering me at all. I can go out there and be as aggressive as I can, and help my teammates as much as I can.”
James Harden (right achilles soreness) and Danuel House Jr. (right shoulder soreness) were out Saturday.
“Our resilience is still there,” Maxey said. “We’ve got to get healthy, of course. But I think we’re stepping in the right direction still.”
Harden and House Jr. are questionable for Monday’s meeting with the Nuggets, as is Embiid (right calf tightness).
For Denver, Michael Porter Jr. (left heel injury management) is questionable Monday, and Collin Gillespie (right lower leg fracture) and Jack White (health and safety protocols) are out.
The Nuggets, the Western Conference leaders, have won three in a row, most recently including a 129-106 win over the East’s No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks (53-21).
In the first matchup of the season between the Sixers and Nuggets on Jan. 28, the Sixers took a 126-119 victory in South Philadelphia.
Embiid led the way that night, with a dominant 47-point, 18-rebound double-double, along with five assists, three steals, and two blocks. Denver’s Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and two blocks.
Monday’s matchup tips at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s Key Performances:
- Maxey recorded a game-high 37 points on 14-for-19 shooting and 7-for-11 shooting from 3-point territory, plus seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 36 minutes of play.
- Embiid notched a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double, plus four assists and two blocks. He shot 8-for-19 from the field and 11-for-13 from the foul line.
Quote to Note:
Maxey on his ongoing partnership with Embiid:
“Joel is honest, which is good. That’s who he is. He’s blunt, he’s honest, and that’s what makes him a good leader. You can’t beat around the bush when you’re trying to win a championship. When you’re in this type of position, with this type of team, and you have this type of chance, you have to go for it. For us to go for it, our best player, our leader, he has to be blunt, he has to be honest with us, and we have to be honest with him as well.”
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