Joel Embiid is scoring again. He’s dominating again, too.
The Sixers’ All-Star center followed up the first scoreless game of his NBA career Monday night in Toronto with 33 points and 16 rebounds Wednesday in the Sixers’ 97-91 win over the Kings.
With the win, the Sixers are 12-6 overall, 8-0 at home.
The significant concern out of Wednesday’s game for the Sixers is that Josh Richardson exited early with right hamstring tightness.
Here are observations from the win:
The Embiid we know
Embiid got on the board early in emphatic fashion with a slam over former teammate Richaun Holmes.
He then drained a jumper from the top of the key on the Sixers’ next trip down the floor. Embiid was predictably determined to make his scoreless effort seem like as much of an aberration as possible and immediately came out with a high energy level — he had seven rebounds in the game’s first six minutes.
Performances like this make it even more difficult to wrap one's head around how he played 32 minutes in a game and didn't score.
Richardson exits early
Richardson sat out the second half because of his hamstring injury. He’d missed the Sixers’ games vs. the Knicks on Nov. 20 and Spurs on Nov. 22 with right hip flexor tightness but had played well since then, totaling 57 points on 58.8 percent shooting over the past two contests. In 17 first-half minutes Wednesday, he had nine points and three assists.
Thybulle makes a big impact
Matisse Thybulle (15 points on 5 for 5 shooting, four steals, two blocks) was excellent in the second half, knocking down open threes, choosing the right gambles to take on defense and helping the Sixers extend their lead.
THYBULLE ALL THE WAY FROM THE KIDS TABLE AT THANKSGIVING!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 28, 2019
He drops one in from beyond the arc and the Wells Fargo Center (and bench) is loving it. pic.twitter.com/Lf6dpy7MVi
The rookie’s ability to turn ultra-aggressive defense into transition offense is a quality Brett Brown and the Sixers love, and it definitely endears him to fans.
An odd game from Simmons
Ben Simmons received two loud cheers from the Wells Fargo Center crowd in the first half. One was for a highly unusual reason — he knocked free a ball suspended on the top of the backboard with the knob of a broom.
Simmons brings out the broom to save the day 😂 pic.twitter.com/3ND9BKpxDK— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 28, 2019
The other was for a 13-foot fadeaway jumper.
A little jumpin action for Ben Simmons 👀— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 28, 2019
He lands the jumper as the Sixers lead, 36-25. pic.twitter.com/KSV3imVmKC
“In general, I want him to shoot more,” Brown said of Simmons pregame.
Simmons shot 5 for 11 from the floor Wednesday, posting 10 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
He had a poor second quarter as he committed four turnovers, wasn’t as engaged as usual on defense and didn’t push the ball ahead with much purpose. At one point after a Kings make, Richardson seemed to gesture at Simmons as if to say, “Come on, let’s get into the offense.” Later, Richardson pulled Simmons away from a referee to stop him from carrying on an extended discussion.
The second half started much better for Simmons. He converted a layup and a dunk in transition within the first 35 seconds.
Buddy Hield scored 22 points for the Kings, but few of them came easy. The Kings’ wing shot 9 for 24 from the floor.
He’d scored 41 points and made 11 three-pointers Monday against the Celtics, so the Sixers did well to contain him.
It was a team effort for the Sixers vs. Hield. Furkan Korkmaz competed hard to tail him around the floor and, on one sensational third-quarter sequence, Thybulle blocked Hield’s shot and was rewarded with a dunk on the other end.
THAT'S OUR BOY.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 28, 2019
Thybulle jammin on em! pic.twitter.com/8p1QmjUXs2
Outside of Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic (17 points), the Kings’ offensive firepower was limited — Sacramento is missing two of its top players in point guard De’Aaron Fox (Grade 3 left ankle sprain) and power forward Marvin Bagley (right thumb fracture).
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