Philadelphia 76ers Gameday Report presented by NJM: 76ers and Thunder in OKC tips off Saturday slate

76ers Visit Thunder in OKC, Seek to End Thunder's Streak | Gameday Report 16/82

The 76ers (10-5) and Oklahoma City Thunder (11-4) tip off a six-game Saturday slate in the NBA with a 5 p.m. ET contest in OKC.

The Thunder enter the matchup on a six-game winning streak, tied with Orlando for the longest in the NBA. The Sixers look to bounce back from losses to Cleveland (OT) and Minnesota, the latter of which took place Wednesday with Joel Embiid (hip) out of the lineup on the second night of the home-road back-to-back.

Embiid leads the NBA in scoring at 31.9 points per game.

The host Timberwolves, who sat just ahead of OKC atop the Western Conference on Thanksgiving, defeated the Sixers by 13 (112-99) on Wednesday. Philadelphia was unable to overcome a 37-20 first quarter deficit.

OPPONENT OUTLOOK

Oklahoma City (11-4) took both games from the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco in the midst of their six-game winning streak.

Their most recent outing was a 116-102 home win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. Thunder All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with a 40-point (11-19 fg, 1-3 3fg, 17-18 ft), 12-assist double-double. Rookie Chet Holmgren - the 7-foot-1 second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft who missed all of last season due to a Lisfranc injury - notched a double-double of his own with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots.

Former 76er Isaiah Joe is shooting 52% from 3-point range on nearly six attempts per game. Joe scored 20 points (5-7 3fg) against Chicago.

As of Friday, the Thunder boasted the No. 1 Net Rating (difference between points and points allowed per 100 possessions) in the NBA over the last 10 games. Oklahoma City’s 14.1 Net Rating was more than four points better than the next closest team - Houston.

Gilegeous-Alexander ranks fourth in the league in scoring with his 30.4 points per game, trailing Embiid, Kevin Durant, and Luka Dončić.

76ERS-THUNDER INJURY REPORT

Embiid (left hip soreness) is probable for Saturday, while Kelly Oubre Jr. (fractured rib) remains out. The Thunder will be without Jalen Williams due to a left hip strain. Lindy Waters III (low back spasms) is questionable.

WEDNESDAY’S TOP PERFORMANCES

Tyrese Maxey

  • Maxey played 33 minutes against the Timberwolves and tallied 16 points, five rebounds, a game-high-tying eight assists, and one blocked shot.

Marcus Morris Sr.

  • In his first start as a 76er because of Embiid’s absence, Morris Sr. answered the call with 16 points (6-12 fg, 3-5 3fg, 1-1 ft) in 16 minutes.
  • He added four rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks.

De’Anthony Melton

  • Another 16-point scorer Wednesday, Melton added six rebounds, three assists, and a block in 30 minutes of action.
  • Melton shot a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line.

Tobias Harris

  • Harris tallied 15 points, six rebounds, and a pair of assists in 32 minutes.

Paul Reed

  • In 26 minutes off the bench in Minnesota, Reed contributed 10 points, a a team-high nine rebounds, two steals, and a game-high four blocks.

QUOTE TO NOTE

76ers Head Coach Nick Nurse following Friday evening’s practice in Oklahoma...

“The focus still goes right back to our foundational principles on defense. It's – as any teacher or coach knows – just because you have taught it once and they've done it a few times, sometimes there's some slippage or regression and you have to teach the exact same thing over and over and over again. And that's what we need to do. I think we've had some good defensive performances, but we're not anywhere near where I want us to be, and that probably doesn't happen until after the new year. But we've got to stay at it and keep coaching it."

FOLLOW ALONG

Saturday’s contest is a 5 p.m. ET start in Oklahoma City.

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

UNIFORMS

The home Thunder will sport their white association edition uniforms, with the Sixers in their royal blue icon edition uniforms.

@SIXERS SOCIAL