The 76ers have a winning streak! After beating the Lakers Friday night, the Sixers win a second in a row against the Hornets. The Sixers beat the Hornets 131-113 on the back of a 53-point performance from Joel Embiid. The Sixers are now two games over .500 at 14-12.
Embiid Goes For 50 Again
Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize what you are watching. It is not every day or every season that a player of Joel Embiids caliber comes along. And it’s especially rare that that player is a center. Joel Embiid is quickly becoming one of the best players in 76ers franchise history. While there is still postseason success that needs to happen for him to really cement his legacy, what he has done in regular seasons is some things we have never seen before. After tonight’s 53 point performance Embiid is the third player in franchise history to have multiple 50-point or more games joining Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlin. Joel also became the fastest player since 1981 to record 100 30-point and 10 rebound games doing it in 346 games. The previous leader was Shaq at 349 games. He truly is one of a kind.
Joel’s Instagram post summed up his night pretty well. “Hollup… let him cook”. Embiid was certainly cooking as he of course dropped 53 points but he also had 12 rebounds while shooting 63% from the field. Hornets Center Mason Plumlee was absolutely no match for Joel and he was able to pretty easily get any shot he wanted. Over his last 10 games, Embiid is averaging 37.9 points per game and he has officially taken over the season scoring lead with 33.4 points per game. After a relatively slow start by his standards he has really picked up his game, and has returned to MVP like form.
Hardens Quietly Good Game
While Embiid will get all the attention, and rightfully so, James Harden quietly had one of his best games since returning to the Sixers lineup. Harden finished with 19 points 16 assists and 9 rebounds. 16 assists is the second most he has had this season. In the win against the Lakers Harden had 28 points along with 12 assists. After a rough first game back Harden has improved each game off of injury. The Sixers are going to need him to continue this level of play to help dig themselves out of an early hole they have gotten themselves in.
Maxey Injury Update
The injury bug has hit the 76ers hard so far this season but the other day we got some positive news on the status of Guard Tyrese Maxey. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Maxey is still on track to return in the original one-month timeline. The injury happened on November 19th so that would mean Maxey should return on December 19th against the Raptors. Wojnarowski also said that the team expects Maxey to be back before Christmas. The 76ers play the Knicks on Christmas day. Embiid and Maxey have not played together since October 29th so it would be huge for the Sixers to get Maxey back potentially next week as we enter month 3 of the NBA season.