The 76ers (32-16) will seek their eighth consecutive victory Monday, hosting the Orlando Magic (19-31).
After an impressive 126-119 victory over the Denver Nuggets (34-16) on Saturday, the Sixers are 20-4 in their last 24 games.
The Sixers have risen to No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, trailing the No. 1 Boston Celtics (36-15) by 2.5 games.
Joel Embiid had one of his best showings of the season, scoring a game-high 47 points and 18 rebounds (season high).
Embiid continues to lead the NBA in scoring, averaging 33.8 points per game.
Saturday was also a standout night for P.J. Tucker, who spent much of the second half guarding two-time MVP Nikola Jokic (24 pts, 8 reb, 9 ast).
“I watched the Miami game from a year ago, and I thought Tuck did a really good job on [Jokic],” Doc Rivers said postgame. “We just felt like at halftime, we weren’t up into him - he was catching it where he wanted to catch it.”
The halftime adjustment made all the difference.
“Listen, Joel was phenomenal,” Rivers added. “He had 47 points, but we don’t win the game if P.J. Tucker doesn’t play. The way he played in the second half was extraordinary.”
Monday’s meeting marks the first in a two-game set between the Sixers and Magic, with the second to be played Wednesday.
The first two games between the teams was also a two-game series, played Nov. 25 and 27 in Orlando. The then-shorthanded Sixers won both, 107-99, on Nov. 25 and 133-103 on Nov. 27.
Chuma Okeke (left knee surgery) is out for Orlando Monday. Embiid (left foot soreness) is questionable.
Monday’s matchup is a 7:00 p.m. ET start.
Saturday’s Top Performances:
- Embiid notched a massive 47-point, 18-rebound double-double, plus five assists, three steals, and two blocks in 38 minutes of play. He shot 18-for-31 from the field and 4-for-7 from deep.
- Harden recorded a 17-point, 13-assist double-double, plus four rebounds. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and 3-for-6 from long range in 36 minutes.
- Harris totalled 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He shot 6-for-10 overall and 2-for-4 from deep.
- Niang scored 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting and 4-for-7 3-point shooting in 19 minutes of play.
- In his bench-high 31 minutes, Maxey tallied 13 points, three rebounds, and six assists, finishing at a game-high-tying (alongside Embiid) +14.
- Melton totalled 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 23 minutes. He shot 4-for-8 overall and 3-for-5 from long range.
Quote to Note:
Tobias Harris on Joel Embiid:
“It was great. He [Joel Embiid] was dominant. I thought once the second half came, he was really able to settle down and be in the zone of the game. Just understanding how to get us all going out there to get in a flow to make the game easier for him. For him to just continue to pick his spots. I thought he did a great job of that in the second half as well.”