After the Sixers' win over the Celtics on Thursday night at TD Garden, they're one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NBA, along with the Heat. Miami hosts the 22-3 Lakers on Friday night.
The 19-7 Sixers can move to 14-0 at Wells Fargo Center tonight with a win over the 6-19 Pelicans.
Here are tonight’s essentials:
When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBC Sports BetCast on NBCSP+)
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
No Horford again
Al Horford will miss his second consecutive game with left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness.
The regular starting lineup was briefly intact for Tuesday's win over the Nuggets in Richardson's first game back after a six-game absence because of a hamstring injury, but that didn't last long.
Mike Scott took Horford’s place Thursday and played well in his second start of the season, scoring 15 points and making 5 of 7 three-pointers.
“I just do my job,” Scott told reporters. “Catch and shoot, move the ball, play hard on defense. Same role when I come off the bench, so it's pretty easy.”
Redick is back in the building
JJ Redick is set to play his first game against the Sixers since signing a two-year, $26.5 million with the Pelicans this summer.
Though the Sixers’ offense has missed Redick’s outside shooting, savvy screening and two-man game with Embiid, the team's three-point numbers have not taken an extreme dip.
The Sixers are shooting 37.1 percent from three-point range, sixth in the NBA.
Redick had interesting insights on the Sixers’ post-heavy offense, Joel Embiid’s maturity and more after the Pelicans’ shootaround (see story).
The Zion-less Pelicans are struggling
No. 1 pick Zion Williamson is with the Pelicans, but he’s sidelined as he recovers from surgery on his right knee.
No. 1 pick Zion Williamson is here in Philadelphia with the Pelicans. pic.twitter.com/VTYLMtUWOz— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) December 13, 2019
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said Friday that Williamson is on schedule and the team doesn’t want to rush his return.
New Orleans comes into Philadelphia on a 10-game losing streak and has the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA. Former Sixers Redick, Jrue Holiday and Jahlil Okafor feature for the Pelicans, while Brandon Ingram is having a career year.
The 22-year-old Ingram, who was traded from the Lakers to New Orleans this summer along with Villanova product Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball, is averaging 24.9 points per game and shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range.
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