Multiple Sixers single out Tobias Harris for his play in win over Grizzlies
PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers were in trouble on Thursday night at home. In a matchup with a tough Memphis Grizzlies team, they found themselves down by 17 early as Memphis got into a rhythm quickly.
The Sixers couldn’t get anything going from Joel Embiid or Tobias Harris as they were relying on James Harden to lead the way for them. Embiid shot 2-for-14 in the first half and he wasn’t able to much to fall and Harris wasn’t able to get any open looks.
Then, the second half came along and Harris stepped up. He scored 15 points after halftime and he was 3-for-5 from deep including two big ones late in the fourth quarter to help the Sixers rally and beat the Grizzlies.
The impressive thing about Harris’ night was that he air-balled a wide-open triple with Philadelphia down 97-93, but a couple of plays later, he stepped up and he knocked down a big one to bring Philadelphia to within 99-98.
“He really persevered,” Tyrese Maxey said of Harris. “I think two plays before that, he air-balled. I was like keep shooting and he did and he hit two big ones.”
After Harden made a 3-pointer, on a play where Harris passed up an open look, he knocked down another triple to give the Sixers a 106-105 lead with 39.1 ticks left.
“It all started with the air ball and then the crowd ‘AHHHH!’ and all the teammates, ‘AHHH!’, but with me inside like ‘Shoot the next one’, but it did start with the air ball,” Harris laughed after the win. “From there, when that one went up and then, the next play, I passed up one and I ended up hitting James, but when I passed it up, I said some nasty words to myself inside.”
On the second 3-pointer to give Philadelphia the lead late, Harris told himself to not pass up an opportunity.
“I was like, ‘Yo, the next shot I get if I got the time and space, I’m letting it go and I’m gonna make it’ and then I was able to hit the next two,” Harris added. “(PJ) Tuck did a great job getting the offensive board which was huge for us on the last one and it was just a great play where I was able to get the ball off real quick with somebody closing out and just make it.”
On top of the clutch 3-pointers, Harris had to defend Grizzlies star Ja Morant in the second half and he did a terrific job of slowing him down.
“He was great,” added Joel Embiid. “Big shots in the corner, but free throws, and then defensively, especially with Ja, you’ve got to put a big body on him to kind of frustrate him so he doesn’t have a lot of those easy floaters. That’s what he wants to get to and then try to crowd the paint as much as possible. Tobias did a great job.”
This was a big stepping stone for Harris and he must now carry this into the next one against the Boston Celtics.
Doc Rivers, Sixers address physicality from Grizzlies in comeback win
James Harden reacts to passing Allen Iverson in scoring in win over Grizzlies
Joel Embiid gives update on his foot, health after Sixers beat Grizzlies