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.
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