The Sixers’ matchup against the Kings was winnable, even without Joel Embiid.
However, instead of snapping their skid Tuesday on their homecourt against a sub.-500 opponent, they lost their seventh out of the last eight games and second of the season to the Kings, 101-95.
The Sixers fell to 14-16, while the Kings moved up to 10-20.
The thing is, the Sixers had this game. They were up by 16 points with 9:07 remaining in the third quarter before being outscored 13-0 by the Kings to start the fourth.
The Sixers’ struggles continued as they head into the next two games facing the 20-8 Raptors.
• The Sixers were without Embiid for the second straight game. The team is being cautious with the big man as he deals with back tightness. Even though Embiid usually misses only one of two in a back-to-back set, this situation is not a complete surprise. He played a career-high 49 minutes in the Sixers’ triple-overtime loss to the Thunder last Friday while dealing with the lingering back issue.
Embiid is day to day and his status for Thursday’s game against the Raptors at home is to be determined. He watched the game from the bench.
• Thirty-six-year-old Zach Randolph stepped into the time machine with a 27-point performance. Randolph has been in the NBA so long, Ben Simmons was five years old when he made his debut in 2001. The veteran was a solid pickup for the Kings, as he brings experience and gritty determination to the young roster.
• The Sixers’ offense stalled in the second half. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, T.J. McConnell was the only player to have more than four made field goals. Robert Covington scored a team-high 17 points (2 for 13 from three) and Jerryd Bayless scored 15 off the bench (4 for 8 from three). Simmons attempted just six field goals and still neared a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
• The Sixers were down another starter in the second half. JJ Redick was sidelined by right hamstring tightness. Redick started off the game slow (0 for 5 from the field) before knocking down a pair of threes (eight points).
• Turnovers continue to plague the Sixers. They gave up 21 points off 20 turnovers. They weren’t helped by their shot selection. The Sixers went 7 for 27 from three while being outscored 48 to 32 in the paint.
• A 2017 lottery pick matchup will have to wait until next season. No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz (shoulder) has been out and No. 5 pick De’Aaron Fox was ruled out for the second half because of a right quadriceps injury. The Kings’ point guard, who worked out for the Sixers hours before Fultz did the same during the pre-draft process, scored only two points and dished one assist in 11 minutes. He also missed the previous game because of right quadriceps contusion.
• Reported new Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana was in attendance.