A solid bounce-back win for the 76ers following a tough two-point loss to this same Miami Heat team on Monday night. An impressive 23-point victory, 119-96. Over a good Heat team that the Sixers should’ve taken care of a few days ago. Nevertheless, they got it done in game two of this two-game series. They have hit the 40-win mark 61 games into the season. What made this victory even more impressive was getting done with All-Star center Joel Embiid missing the game due to left foot soreness.
Here’s what stood out:
- The pace of the game the 76ers played served to be a winning formula in this one yet again. We’ve seen them play this way and succeed many times but we don’t see it enough. Yes, they have arguably the most dominant big man in the sport. He needs his touches. However, there’s a way for the team to find a nice balance of him being the focal point of the offense while mixing this brand of play in. It’s clearly effective. The Sixers won the fastbreak category 26-7.
- Part of the pace that played a part in the win was having speedy guard Tyrese Maxey back in the starting lineup. Maxey finished with a game-high 27 points on 10 for 17 shooting. 4 for 7 from behind the three-point line. He also added a game-best seven assists. Much has been made of him starting or coming off the bench. He needs to be back in the opening five for this type of impact to begin the game and jump on the opponent.
- Paul Reed finished with a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 14 boards. Five came on offense. He played his best brand of ball in quite some time with a ton of energy. The question is: how consistent can he be? If he can keep this level of play going, he’ll certainly be well on his way to securing the backup five minutes behind Embiid or at the very least, simply earning the trust from head coach Doc Rivers for spot minutes based on the other team’s personnel.
Next up will be game two of a back-to-back for Philadelphia as they face off tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (32-31).