Joel Embiid did something no 76er had done in nearly 30 years, but one of the most productive nights of the All-Star’s young career came in vein.
Behind a big second half from the Indiana Pacers (19-10), the Sixers (19-11) bowed, 113-101, in a noteworthy Eastern Conference bout Friday at The Center.
Indiana’s win moved them 0.5 game in front of the Sixers for third place in the standings, and spoiled a memorable performance from Embiid.
The 24-year old finished with 40 points (13-22 fg, 1-6 3fg, 13-16 ft) and a career-high 21 rebounds, becoming the first player in franchise history to post a 40-point x 20-rebound game since Charles Barkley (40 pts, 22 reb) achieved the feat December 7th, 1990 against the Denver Nuggets.
While the Sixers led by as many as 12 points in the opening stanza, one of the team’s former players, Thaddeus Young, had a major say in Friday’s turning of the tables. He went for 11 of his team-best 26 points in the fourth quarter, leading a key 12-3 surge that gave the Pacers control late.
JJ Redick provided 22 points. Ben Simmons posted 18 points (7-15 fg), nine rebounds, and four assists.
Turnovers were a major subplot in Friday’s contest. The Sixers committed 16 to Indiana’s seven, which led to a 33-12 advantage for the Pacers in points off turnovers.
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Just a monster night for JoJo.
The Sixers figure to be out for vengeance Sunday, when they make their lone stop of the season at Quicken Loans Arena. Back on November 23rd at The Center, the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Sixers a humbling loss, 121-112. The defeat halted the Sixers’ lengthy regular season home winning streak at 20.