Joel Embiid showed out with another 40-point game, getting up to 42, as the Sixers elevated past the Pacers in a 147-143 win in Indiana. Coming into this game, Philadelphia led the season series 2-0 and it was clear that they wanted to keep this momentum with another win.
Philadelphia had two new faces in the starting lineup against Indiana since P.J. Tucker and Tobias Harris were both out with injuries. De’Anthony Melton and Jalen McDaniels took over the starting job for the night and both had decent performances. Melton had 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in a game that highlighted his defensive effort. McDaniels on the other hand had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 steal in his first game starting for Philadelphia. Both his points and rebound totals from this game were his career highs with the Sixers.
This game was one for the ages, as it was clear after the 1st quarter that it would be high scoring. The Pacers led the Sixers 39-38 going into the 2nd quarter after both teams had struggled defensively. Neither team could get many stops and each team was going back and forth making shots. These defensive struggles carried into half, as both Philadelphia and Indiana scored 40 points in the 2nd quarter with the Pacers leading 79-78.
The scoring slowed down a little bit in the 3rd quarter, but Joel Embiid and Tyrese Haliburton started to light it up. James Harden constantly let Embiid set up in the post, and let him drive his way inside for the layup. Haliburton continuously was taking a screen from Myles Turner or Jalen Smith, and pulling up from 3, knocking it down almost every time. Neither team’s defense showed up in the 3rd quarter either, as the Sixers outscored the Pacers 36-35, with the score going into 4th being a tie game at 114 each.
The Philadelphia defense finally showed up in the 4th quarter, but not the same can be said for Indiana. The Pacers were able to keep it close, until about the 10-minute mark, as Philadelphia started to run away with it. The 76ers turned a 118-118 game into a 128-118 lead in only about 2 minutes. This is when James Harden started to feed everyone on the court around him, as he ended up with 20 assists, his 2nd highest assist total in his career. The Pacers attempted a comeback and were only down 5 points with about 3 minutes left, but De’Anthony Melton drilled a 3, and then Myles Turner turned the ball over and fouled Joel Embiid, ending the comeback bid. Embiid hit both his free throws and it was all but over. Philadelphia beat the Pacers 147-143 in Indiana. Joel Embiid ended with 42 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 40 points and 16 assists.
The Sixers play the Timberwolves Tuesday night in Minnesota, which should be a great matchup between 2 dominant centers Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns.