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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 06: Montrezl Harrell #5 and James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers speak during the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Wells Fargo Center on January 06, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

After a convincing win over the Pistons in Detroit on Sunday afternoon, the 76ers host the Pistons tonight as they try for a similar result in game two of the home and home series.

Two days ago, the Sixers improved to 23-14 after a 123-111 victory over the Pistons, who dropped to 11-32. Philadelphia has won four of their last five games. Three players scored 20-plus points against Detroit led by Tyrese Maxey’s 23. Maxey played in his fourth game since returning from a foot injury. He has started the last three as he occupied the vacant starting spot left by Joel Embiid. The third-year guard seems to be playing more like himself every game as the minutes increase. His speed and shooting were on full display and that’s a welcome sight for head coach Doc Rivers’ team.

James Harden recorded his 71st career triple-double. He put together a 20pt, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists stat line. Harden was one assist shy of hitting the mark at the half and wasted no time getting to the feat as he found Tobias Harris for a cutting layup on the first possession of the second half for his 10th assist. The 10x All-Star also reached a milestone of 24,000 career points in the win. He is one of 27 players to ever reach that number. A truly remarkable career.

Backup big Montrezl Harrell had another good outing in his third consecutive game of consistent minutes. Harrell started at the five with both Embiid (foot) and PJ Tucker (non-Covid illness) out. The former 6th Man of the Year added 20 and his activity and energy were evident from the start. One thing that seems to really help the veteran big man is his chemistry with Harden on the pick-and-roll. Allowing him to get easier buckets from the attention Harden draws. Right now, it seems that Harrell has earned the trust and faith of Rivers to continue to get the nod.

For the Pistons, they have a tough time on the road with a 6-18 record away from Detroit. With such a young roster, they are still learning how to win and have to lean on the guidance of veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. The veteran forward has scored 20-plus in six consecutive games, including dropping 20 in the loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, adding five assists on the day. Young guard Killian Hayes paced Detroit with 26 points, tying a career-high. They’ll need more of that from the lefty guard tonight against a stingy Sixers defense that ranks fourth in the NBA in defensive rating.

This one is simple — do exactly what you did to this team on Sunday. Jump on this team early and don’t allow them to hang around, giving them the belief that they can win the game.

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