Paul George

Sixers at Clippers: 3 storylines to watch

Sixers at Clippers: 3 storylines to watch

The Sixers are 28-2 at Wells Fargo Center and have only had a better home record through 30 games once in franchise history.

That’s good … but they won’t play at home again until March 11.

Here are three storylines to watch for the team’s game Sunday afternoon against the 40-19 Clippers, the first of a four-game trip on the West Coast: 

The All-Stars won’t be in town 

Neither Ben Simmons (nerve impingement in lower back) nor Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain) will be with the team in Los Angeles.

Those two starred and played very well together when the Sixers beat the Clippers on Feb. 11, scoring 26 points apiece. 

This will be the most difficult competition the Sixers have played without both Simmons and Embiid since the start of the 2017-18 season — Thursday’s win over the Knicks and a victory in the regular-season finale over the Bulls last year are the only two other games they've been in this situation. 

No ‘home-court cooking’ 

After losing to the Sixers in February, Paul George told reporters, “There was some home-court cooking tonight, to say the least,” and was fined $35,000 for public criticism of the officials.

George shot 3 for 15 in that loss and was defended well by Josh Richardson.

Through 60 games, the Sixers have conceded 4.9 more free throw attempts per game on the road than at home. Of course, it’s difficult to know how much of that disparity — if any — can be attributed to “home-court cooking.” It’s one of many areas in which the team has been much worse on the road, where they’re 9-21. 

Plenty of questions 

With no Simmons, how will the Sixers guard opposing stars like Kawhi Leonard? Can Shake Milton, who’s made 9 of his last 11 threes, keep up his high level of play as the team's starting point guard? We saw Tobias Harris (34 points, seven assists, seven rebounds) and Al Horford (15 points, nine assists, seven rebounds) carry a larger load in the Sixers’ win over the Knicks, but can they do that successfully against better competition?

These aren't pleasant questions the Sixers have to address, but we should start to get some answers on Sunday. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Paul George fined for criticizing referees after Clippers' loss to Sixers

Paul George fined for criticizing referees after Clippers' loss to Sixers

Paul George did not think that the Clippers’ 110-103 loss to the Sixers on Tuesday night was fairly officiated. His decision to publicly voice that opinion resulted in a $35,000 fine from the NBA on Thursday. 

"There was some home-court cooking tonight, to say the least,” George told reporters.

He thought the box score backed up his assertion.

"I mean, it was 19 to 11,” he said, noting the fouls called on the Clippers compared to the Sixers. "You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11."

George had a difficult game personally and was defended well by Josh Richardson. He shot 3 for 15 overall, 1 of 7 when guarded by Richardson. The Clippers only took 13 free throws, with George attempting six of them.

Unless the two teams meet in the NBA Finals, George won’t have to worry about “home-court cooking” for the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center again this season. The final Clippers-Sixers matchup of the year is set for March 1 at Staples Center. 



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Paul George thinks Sixers got ‘home-court cooking’ from referees vs. Clippers

Paul George thinks Sixers got ‘home-court cooking’ from referees vs. Clippers

Paul George shot 3 for 15 Tuesday night in the Clippers’ 110-103 loss to the Sixers, his second-worst shooting performance of the season. 

Afterwards, he shared his disagreement with how the game had been officiated. 

"I thought we played well, we lost by seven," George told reporters, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "There was some home-court cooking tonight, to say the least."

The Sixers, who are now an NBA-best 25-2 at home, got Clippers center Ivica Zubac in foul trouble and, in George’s mind, were given an edge by the officials. 

"I mean, it was 19 to 11," George said, referring to the disparity in fouls called on each team. "You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11."

The 11 fouls against the Sixers were a season-low for a Clippers opponent. The Clippers attempted 13 free throws — just two in the first half — making nine.

Joel Embiid was the only player on either team able to successfully draw fouls on a regular basis. He used advantages in size and strength effectively and took as many free throws as the entire Clippers team.

Embiid also was involved in a fourth-quarter shoving exchange with Marcus Morris that resulted in both players receiving technical fouls.

Morris didn’t want to start any further trouble after the game.

"I mean, we're both physical guys," he told reporters. "It was cool, man. Just like wrapping arms and stuff like that. I ain't gonna say nothing 'cause they like to fine me, so I'm gonna keep my mouth shut."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers