Well, I can officially say Joel Embiid can do whatever he wants, because he can. We learned this in a 113-95 Philadelphia 76ers win over the Dallas Mavericks.
As I said, Embiid was brilliant in a 36-point, seven-rebound performance.
Mavs star Luka Doncic posted 32 points on 10-for-20 shooting, four rebounds, and four assists.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
Embiid is unstoppable
Maxi Kleber started at center for Dallas due to Kristaps Porzingis being out due to right knee injury management. The Mavs briefly turned to Nicolo Melli at center after Kleber picked up two quick fouls. Embiid troubled both players, taking and making eight free throws in his first stint.
Boban Marjanovic was the next player in the Mavs’ center rotation, and the Sixers were eager to get Embiid the ball once they saw the 7′ 4″ man on the court. Embiid possessed an agility edge.
Willie Cauley-Stein, another player in the Mavs’ frontcourt mix, pushed Embiid to the ground off the ball late in the second quarter. Doubting that the officials didn’t call a foul on the play, Embiid posted up seconds later, splitting a double team, making an and-one layup and flexing at Cauley-Stein.
Sixers shut down Mavs, expect Doncic
Doncic had a betterl scoring night than when he played the Sixers back in February. That was in part because the Mavs set plenty of screens that led to a defender besides Ben Simmons guarding him.
The Sixers didn’t mind when Tobias Harris or Danny Green ended up on the two-time All-Star.
As it is usually the case, Doncic was a constant threat with the ball in his hands. Even against Simmons, he was effective at shielding off his defender, either calmly finding the shot he wanted, drawing a foul, or kicking it out to a teammate.
The Sixers guarded well as a team, though. Doncic was a bit of a one-man show, with Jalen Brunson (15 points) Dallas’ second best scorer of the game.
Offensively, this was a positive game from Simmons, who played 24 minutes and recorded eight points on three-for-six shooting, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Another nice night by Korkmaz
Furkan Korkmaz matched up against three former teammates in J.J. Redick (who made his Mavs debut), Trey Burke, and Josh Richardson. He played well regardless of his assignment, earning a steal, taking a charge, and scoring nine first-half points on three field-goal attempts.
For the game, Korkmaz recorded 20 points on seven-for-10 shooting.
The Sixers are now 37-17 after a 3-1 road trip and will start a four-game homestand Wednesday VS the 36-17 Brooklyn Nets.