In Final Minutes, Team Fends Off Feisty Cavaliers
It came down to the wire Tuesday at The Center, but the 76ers (43-25) pulled through, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers (17-51), 106-99.
Late-game heroics from Joel Embiid sealed the deal, as the big man scored the Sixers’ last six points, and grabbed three huge boards in between.
With 51.1 seconds remaining and the Sixers up one, an emphatic Embiid putback dunk to make it 102-99 began his dominant final minute.
After blocking and rebounding Ante Zizic’s layup on the other end, Embiid was fouled. He made both free throws, before repeating a similar sequence, with 19.8 seconds left:
Embiid defensive rebound following a Cavs’ miss, Embiid fouled, Embiid two made free throws.
With just 12.7 seconds on the clock, Embiid then rebounded Jordan Clarkson’s final shot attempt, and the clock expired.
The big man’s line: 17 points, 19 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks.
“I felt like tonight, I really had to focus defensively,” Embiid said. “I had to do my job – I’m glad we got the win.”
Embiid’s double-double was his 50th this season, making him the first Sixer to record 50-plus double-doubles since Charles Barkley in 1989-1990.
Ben Simmons notched yet another double-double (his 40th this season), finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
JJ Redick scored 17 points, collecting three rebounds and three dimes, while Tobias Harris added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
In his first start as a Sixer, James Ennis III put up 10 first-half points, and ended the evening with 12 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. He replaced Jimmy Butler, who had a planned rest day.
“I thought he kept the game in front of him a lot,” Brett Brown said. “I thought tonight he was very, very, good – one of our best defensive players.”
Making his return after missing six games with a knee injury, Boban Marjanovic posted 11 points, five boards, and two assists.
Rookie Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 26 points.
Click here for a complete box score.
Joel Embiid - excellent at basketball.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 13, 2019
Fighting for a playoff spot in the West, the Sacramento Kings (33-33) will enter Friday’s contest at The Center on the second night of a back-to-back, after facing the Boston Celtics Thursday at the TD Garden. One of the biggest surprises of the season, the young Kings are led by Buddy Hield (20.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and De’Aaron Fox (17.5 ppg, 7.2 apg, 1.7 spg). The Kings bested the Sixers, 115-108, on Feb. 2nd in Sacramento in what was the first meeting between the teams.