A sluggish night for the Philadelphia 76ers in their brief visit back home at The Center. They fell to the visiting Chicago Bulls in double overtime, 109-105. Not a good night for offensive execution, ball handling, and turnovers. They’ve been too good to pick at this loss and go nuts because of one bad night. The Sixers end their winning streak at eight and fall back to the third seed in East standings a half-game back of the Boston Celtics.
Here’s what stood out tonight:
- A low-scoring opening quarter by the Sixers and Bulls was not all that surprising. With the 76ers coming off another long trip, one can understand the slow start as they get adjusted to being back home on their floor in front of the home crowd, knowing a seven-day, four-game trip is waiting for them after tonight. The Sixers led after one, 22-17. 21 turnovers on the night for the 76ers led to 24 points for the Bulls the other way. Chicago turned the ball over just 11 times.
- Joel Embiid added to his new franchise record as he dropped 37 points to lead all scorers. That’s now 10 consecutive 30-plus point games for the MVP candidate. Embiid also collected a game-best 16 rebounds. He continued his solid rim protection with three blocked shots. But had a high turnover night coughing the ball up five times.
- De’Anthony Melton really kept the Sixers in this one with his shooting and defense. With the team really struggling from the floor, Melton successfully called his own number a few times and the team needed every point. The defensive ace never backed off on that end of the floor staying locked in as always. Melton continues to look more and more aggressive off the bench than as a starter. He finished with 19 points including five made 3’s with four steals and one block. Nice performance.
- Tobias Harris had a nice night on offense with 14 points. But it was his defense that needs to be highlighted with solid play on that end of the floor. Chicago has two really good individual scorers in Zach LaVine (26) and DeMar DeRozan (25) but Harris was able to make some key defensive plays on the night to force the extra possessions and made them earn those points.
- James Harden had a rough night as he finished the night with five points (2-10 FG, 0-6 3FG, 1-1 FT) and five turnovers in 46-plus minutes. Hopefully, this was just a blip on the radar and he’s fine going forward.