Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris in awe of Joel Embiid after Sixers win over Hornets

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  • Philadelphia 76ers
    Philadelphia 76ers
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  • Joel Embiid
    Joel Embiid
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  • Doc Rivers

The Philadelphia 76ers were in trouble on Monday night. As they faced a shorthanded Charlotte Hornets team, they might have taken them not as seriously as they should have. Despite missing five key players, including LaMelo Ball, the Hornets gave the Sixers all they could handle.

Philadelphia was down double digits, then they built a double-digit lead, and then needed Joel Embiid to come up clutch for them down the stretch in order to outlast the Hornets 127-124 in overtime. Embiid was sensational by going for 43 points on 15-for-20 shooting, 15 rebounds, and seven assists to make sure Philadelphia came away with the win.

With the Hornets missing big man Mason Plumlee, the Sixers just went to Embiid every time down the floor as Charlotte truly did not have an answer for him. Nick Richards will be seeing Embiid in his nightmares for a while.

“We identified it early,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Not early enough to me, like, we had a matchup, and we kept going to it. Feed the pig.”

And feed the pig they did. Embiid had 17 points at halftime and he absolutely emptied the tank in order to help the Sixers get a win that they really did need even though it’s obviously still early.

“I thought he got tired,” said Rivers. “He told me that in one stretch in overtime. We ran the play for Tobias (Harris) with the little lob play, but other than that, we didn’t run much tonight. We knew we had a matchup. We kept getting it to him and trusted what he did what the ball. I liked that our guys understood that after a while, and then kept doing that.”

Embiid scored with 30 seconds left to tie the game at 119 to polish off scoring seven points in the final quarter. He then scored six more points in overtime to help the Sixers get the job done. He then found Harris for a dunk as he accounted for all eight of Philadelphia’s points in overtime.

“That’s what he does,” said Harris. “He is so dominant out there and especially when he is able to get to his position out there on the floor. They threw different guys at him, but he is just so much bigger and stronger than they are. But for us, it’s just about making the right plays to figure out where he wants the basketball at those times and we have to make those plays and he makes big shots for us and was a huge reason why we were able to win the game.”

The Sixers now get a rematch with the Hornets in Charlotte to finish off their 4-game road trip.

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