The Sixers shut down a high-scoring guard, a position in which they’ve struggled to defend, en route to their fifth win in six games on Friday night.
Kemba Walker shot 7 of 23 from the field and 2 for 9 from three (17 points), as the Sixers beat the Hornets, 102-93, for their third straight victory. The Sixers hadn't won three in a row since they rattled off four straight wins during the 2013-14 season. The Sixers improved to 12-25 while the Hornets evened out at 20-20.
The Sixers’ defense caused problems for Walker from the start, as he shot 2 for 13 in the first half. He had been averaging 23.1 points (sixth among all point guards) on a career-high 46.8 percent from the field.
In their last five games, of which they won four, the Sixers had allowed 22 points to Emmanuel Mudiay, 28 points to Zach LaVine, a combined 50 to Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas, and 25 to Derrick Rose.
Inside the box score
• Joel Embiid reached 20 points for his eighth straight game, dating back to Dec. 23 against the Suns. He scored 24 points (6 for 12 from the field, 0 for 5 from three, 12 for 14 from the line) with eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals and five turnovers in 28 minutes against the Hornets.
• Dario Saric was the Sixers’ second-leading scorer with 15 points, including 4 for 6 from three, and grabbed six rebounds.
• Nerlens Noel finished with four blocks in 20 minutes.
• Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with 19 points.
• Cody Zeller (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (12 points, 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.
• The Sixers forced the Hornets into a season-high 19 turnovers. Charlotte entered the game averaging 11.9 turnovers per game, the lowest mark in the league.
• The Sixers limited the Hornets to 11 assists, the fewest by an opponent this season. The Hornets entered the game averaging 23.5, tied for seventh in the league.
Embiid wants to hear it
When fans chanted “trust the process” with Embiid at the line, Embiid encouraged them to get louder in between shots. He hit 12 of 14 (85.7 percent) free throws.
Okafor sits again
Jahlil Okafor was a DNP for his fourth straight game. He will play on Saturday against the Wizards when Embiid rests on the second night of a back-to-back.
“His day is going to be tomorrow,” head coach Brett Brown said.
In the D-League …
During this game, Richaun Holmes was taking on former Sixer Christian Wood in the Delaware 87ers’ contest against the Greensboro Swarm in North Carolina. Holmes was assigned to the Sevens on Friday morning.
Part of the team
Ten-day contract player Chasson Randle showed his support for his new teammates by standing and applauding during the game. Randle signed with the Sixers on Tuesday and has not played.
The Sixers will travel to Washington, D.C., to play the Wizards on Saturday. On Monday, they will face the Bucks in Milwaukee for an afternoon game.