CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It wasn’t pretty for the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday in a 97-89 win over the Charlotte Hornets. On the second night of a back-to-back, the Sixers were sluggish on offense and they weren’t very sharp on the defensive end either.
Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges made big shots for the Hornets to end the third quarter as Charlotte took a 73-69 lead entering the fourth quarter. With Joel Embiid needing to get his rest, the Sixers needed somebody to step up and that guy was Tobias Harris in yet another big moment.
Harris scored 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting in the fourth quarter and he was a plus-14 in the final frame.
“You look at the Denver game, early fourth quarter, he tied the game until the starters came back in,” Embiid gushed about Harris. “That was a big reason why. Yesterday (Friday in the win over the Orlando Magic), same thing, that whole fourth quarter just making sure we kept our lead and then tonight, to start the fourth quarter. All season really, he’s been great, but lately, he’s taken another step.”
Harris had 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting through the first three quarters, and it felt like maybe a switch was flipped for him entering the fourth. However, he is a proven veteran who can do this at any moment and he has done so for the majority of his career.
“No switch flipped,” Harris said. “It was just at that moment in the fourth quarter, those opportunities came for me, and for me, I just took advantage of them. I knew that we needed to get baskets, I knew that the game was tight and we came out of the third quarter down. I knew that we needed stops and we needed to get a few baskets there. Those opportunities came my way and I took advantage of them.”
Harris has continued to remain a professional despite an ever-changing role for the Sixers. He has been somebody Philadelphia can count on and he has been terrific for this group whenever they need him.
“I think people underestimate him a little bit,” added Furkan Korkmaz. “The way that he plays because sometimes it’s hard to find yourself in a good position or in the position that you want. As a player, we always complain about ‘Oh, I should be doing this. I should be doing this’, but like everybody else, he does it too, but he’s often the other side. He knows what he’s doing. You know?”
It’s important to have a guy like Harris on the roster. He is ready to do whatever he’s asked and he doesn’t complain about it either.
“Like he’s really helping the team,” Korkmaz added. “He’s sacrificing a lot like this. That’s all I can say. There is the guys that complain, but doesn’t sacrifice a lot, but he doesn’t complain that much, but he’s sacrificed a lot. So that’s huge for this organization to have that kind of player and personality.”