Looking to Maintain Momentum in Motor City

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (11-5) will look to keep a good thing going Saturday in Detroit, visiting the Pistons (3-12) for the second night of a back-to-back.

On night one, the Sixers topped the Boston Celtics (8-6), 122-110, Friday at The Center, sweeping their two-game series with Boston and strengthening their hold on the Eastern Conference.

Joel Embiid, continuing his MVP-caliber streak, finished with 38 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 11-for-15 from the field, and hitting 14 of his 15 free throw attempts. 

Tobias Harris offered 23 points on an impressive 10-for-12 shooting outing, plus eight rebounds and three assists.

Rounding out the Sixers’ big three, Ben Simmons scored 11 key points in the close-out fourth quarter alone. 

Embiid offered his fellow All-Star props postgame:

“I love playing with [Ben], like tonight. That fourth quarter, it starts on the defensive end - he was a monster. He got a lot of steals… he was attacking, he was aggressive. He was huge tonight.”

Embiid kept beaming about playing alongside Simmons.

“I don’t even know how to explain it - it’s just been fun. He’s been amazing this year.”

He gushed about his other teammates too.

The team saw contributions across the roster in the win, as Seth Curry (returning after two weeks away due to health and safety protocols) added 15 points, Dwight Howard grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, and Matisse Thybulle led the bench in scoring with nine points, four boards, and two blocks.

Now, headed into a two-game set at Detroit, the Sixers will look to capitalize on the momentum they built at home.

“We need to keep going, we need to get on a streak,” Embiid said. “We need to keep winning.”

Saturday’s contest tips at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Pistons are also facing the second night of a back-to-back, falling to the Houston Rockets (5-9) Friday, 103-102.

Jerami Grant led the way for the Pistons Friday, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Grant is averaging 25.4 points per game this season - the 16th highest average in the league - leading the way in scoring for Detroit.

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