Richardson Rises vs. Clippers

by Lauren Rosen

Each of the 76ers’ stars shone brightly Tuesday in the team’s final outing before the All-Star break.

Not only did Ben Simmons power his way to  a 26-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double, he also was charged with guarding Kawhi Leonard - and did so with conviction.

Dominating the Clippers’ post options, Joel Embiid scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Al Horford recorded nine points, six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Tobias Harris went home with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double, and a new poster.

But with the game on the line in the fourth period, it was Josh Richardson who finished the job - helping deliver the Sixers’ 110-103 win over the LA Clippers.

While the game featured 13 lead changes and five ties, it was the Sixers that held the lead throughout the second half. But when the Clippers cut the Sixers’ margin to just a point in the fourth quarter, 91-90, Richardson rose to the occasion.

With 7:19 remaining, Richardson nailed a timely three. After a Horford block on the other end, Simmons found Richardson for two more quick points.

Richardson’s 5-0 run seemed to give the Sixers the last bit of juice they needed to lock down the key win, but he didn’t stop there.

Richardson went on to score 17 points in the fourth period, playing a team-high 11 minutes in the frame. He shot 6-for-9 from the field.

“I itch for moments like that,” Richardson said postgame. “In close games, we all want to be part of that positive effort - and tonight, I had a good part in it.”

Finishing the contest with 21 points in 31 minutes - both the highest figures he’s posted since returning from injury in last Friday’s win over Memphis - Richardson, as usual, supplied no shortage of energy.

Despite missing time  from competitive play due to injury, Richardson  reminded everyone on Tuesday about his importance to the Sixers on both sides of the ball. He's averaging 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 0.9 steals in his 41 games played. 

He’s been applauded by his coach and teammates for doing a little bit of everything, a trend that continued in Tuesday’s win.

As Richardson returned to his role sharing a portion of the primary ball-handling responsibilities, point man Simmons expressed his own appreciation for Richardson.

“It’s fun to just watch him do his thing, because he’s so talented,” Simmons said. “He’s able to score the ball in multiple ways, so it’s great having him back.”

Now, headed into the All-Star break with three straight wins in tow, the Sixers will look to keep that momentum rolling into the final stretch of the season, with Richardson poised to play a major role.

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