Hornets’ Gordon Hayward feeling impressed by Joel Embiid, Sixers
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers continue to find a way. Coming off an emotional win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to begin this current road trip, they could have easily suffered an emotional letdown on Friday when they took on the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets have been struggling all season long as they hold the second-worst record in the East ahead of only the Detroit Pistons and the Sixers could have overlooked them. Philadelphia also was on the first night of a back-to-back so there was that to consider as well.
Instead, the Sixers took care of business easily. They led the Hornets by as many as 42 on their way to a 121-82 win on the road. Joel Embiid had 38 points on 16-for-21 shooting, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks while James Harden had a triple-double, and Tobias Harris had 18.
The Sixers started the third quarter on an 11-0 run to put the game away.
“I think Joel had a lot to do with it,” Hornets forward Gordon Hayward told reporters. “He was unbelievable. He’s been unbelievable all year, but it’s tough. I mean, they present a lot of challenges with him and Harden, especially in the pick-and-roll, and then we’re doubling him and they’re swinging it around and hitting shots.”
Hayward and the Hornets really had no answer for Embiid and Harden. Once the two of them got going, then Philadelphia steamrolled over Charlotte on their way to an easy win. Once the stars got going, it was smooth sailing for the Sixers.
“We couldn’t get stops, and then we’re playing against a set defense and they’re also good on that end as well,” Hayward added of the Sixers. “So it was a tough one obviously for us, but credit to them they’re rolling right now. They’re playing well.”
The Sixers will now face the Indiana Pacers on Saturday to finish this current trip.
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