The Philadelphia 76ers pull out their third victory in four nights.
The Philadelphia 76ers carried over the momentum from Friday’s win over Boston into this game, most notably through Ben Simmons. After his monstrous fourth quarter to close out Boston the night before, Simmons started this game on a tear, scoring eight of the Sixers’ first 18 and dropping 16 points in the first half.
Detroit hung strong throughout, despite the absence of Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, as well as a slow night from Process legend Jerami Grant — his 11 points broke a streak of 14 consecutive games with 20+ scored.
Philadelphia started the game briskly, but were eventually bogged down by turnovers and sloppy a defense — a trend that could permeate the rest of the evening. Both teams exchanged runs, with Detroit’s strongest moments coming early in the second and third quarters. Is was a two-point game at halftime, however, and a four-point game when the buzzer sounded. At no point did it feel like one team might run away with it.
From the Sixers’ perspective, the shorthanded Pistons, who’ve won only three games this season, should’ve been a much easier win on paper — especially when you factor in Joel Embiid‘s big night and Simmons’ best game of the season. That said, the second night of a back-to-back is tough, especially on the road. Philadelphia simply had too many stretches of flat basketball.
The fourth quarter was a slog, broken only for brief moments by impressive shot-making on either side. In the end, the Sixers had Joel Embiid, and Detroit did not. The Pistons needed more from Grant to have any chance to close this one out, but he was rendered ineffective all night — in large part due to the defensive efforts of Simmons.
The Sixers’ next game is in Detroit once again on Monday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 PM E.T.