Team Heads Into Break With 3rd Straight Win

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

Snapshot:

On multiple occasions this season, the 76ers (34-21) have been at their best against the NBA's best competition. 

Count 'em. 

A Thursday night in Boston. In the Saturday primetime slot against the Lakers. On Christmas Day versus the league-leading Bucks. 

Hosting 2019 playoff foil Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers Tuesday at The Center, the Sixers passed their latest big test, earning an inspired, hard-fought 110-103 victory. 

The win marked the Sixers' third in a row, and sent the club into its nine-day All-Star break on a resurgent note. 

Bound for the All-Star Game itself for a second straight season, the duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons was fantastic. Embiid and Simmons shared team-high scoring honors with 26 points apiece. 

Embiid also added nine rebounds and one emphatic, game-sealing block…

...while Simmons - with 12 boards and 10 dimes - registered his sixth triple-double of the season. It was the third time in his three-year career he posted a triple-double in back-to-back contests. 

With a down-hill attacking Simmons leading the charge, the Sixers built up a 12-point cushion early in Tuesday's second quarter. The Clippers, however, got going from the outside, and forced a 54-54 deadlock at the half. 

In the third frame, the Sixers again pushed the margin to a dozen. Again, LA managed to close the gap, scratching within one, 91-90, early in the fourth. 

From there, Josh Richardson took over. First, he nailed a 3-pointer to give the Sixers some breathing room. Then, after the Sixers won a jump tap, the vet delivered a cutting lay-up for a 5-0 mini-run that prompted a Clippers' timeout. 

Richardson erupted for 17 of his 21 points in the final period. His signature basket came with three and a half minutes to go, when he raced four rows into the crowd behind the baseline en route to putting the Sixers up 105-94 on a driving and-1.

The Sixers dominated the interior, outscoring the Clippers 58-38 in the paint, and 15-3 on second-chance points. 

Coming off the bench for the first time since the 11th game of his 13-year All-Star career, Al Horford made important contributions. He was plus-10 in 27 minutes, tallying nine points (3-4 fg, 1-2 3fg), six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. 

While Leonard went for 30 points, Simmons did his part to make the Finals MVP work for it. Paul George was kept in check for 11 points on 3-for-15 shooting. 

Click here for a complete box score. 

@Sixers Social:

It happened early, and certainly should be submitted for the record:

Up Next:

The 76ers won't play again until Thursday, Feb. 20, when they host the Brooklyn Nets at The Center. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will represent the Sixers at the 69th NBA All-Star Game, which will be held this Sunday at United Center in Chicago.

 

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