'All we have to do is stay healthy' - Embiid thrilled with 76ers' offense after blowing out Kings

By Sports Desk December 13, 2022

The Philadelphia 76ers are beginning to figure things out on the offensive end, scoring at least 123 points for the fourth consecutive game to defeat the Sacramento Kings 123-103 on Tuesday.

Joel Embiid top-scored with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while James Harden set the table with 15 assists to go with his 21 points (seven-of-13 shooting), seven rebounds and five steals.

In fact, all five 76ers starters finished better than 50 per cent from the field, combining to shoot 33-of-56 (58.9 per cent) from the field for 94 points.

For the season, the 76ers own the 13th-best offense at 112.4 points per 100 possessions, but in these past four games they have raised that to 118.6 – the fourth-best figure over that span.

The key factor in the return of their offensive firepower is the return of James Harden – who returned from a five-week absence exactly four games ago, and has averaged 11.7 assists per contest since.

Embiid pointed to Harden's ability to generate open looks for his teammates when he spoke to reporters after the game.

"We're playing pretty well offensively," Embiid said. "James is doing a great job getting everyone easy shots. 

"My teammates are doing a fantastic job moving the ball and being in the right spots. That's what we've got to do.

"All we have to do is stay healthy – but we're not there yet. We have a long way to go."

Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers agreed that the offense has found its groove.

"Really the last two games," he said. "We're in the 120s, shooting over 50 per cent, the ball’s moving, the floor is wide open – that’s exactly what we’re talking about. 

"Tobias had nine assists tonight, James had 15. It just says that they’re moving the ball, they’re playing together, our spacing is correct, and it’s good to see."

Harden, who is averaging over 10 assists per game for the fourth consecutive season, expanded on exactly what constitutes an efficient offense.

"I think offensively, it’s just knowing what we’re trying to accomplish possession by possession," he said. "That’s the most important thing. 

"If we’re out here and everybody’s on different pages and have their own individual agendas, and that goes for any team, the offense isn’t gonna be successful. 

"It doesn’t matter how many great guys you have on the team, so I think just knowing what we’re trying to accomplish and just going out there and doing our best job to accomplish it on both ends of the ball.

“For me, individually, I just try to pick up the pace, get the ball up as fast as we can before Joel gets down there, and once he gets down there, we know what to do.

"Guys are doing a great job of just moving their bodies, finding open spots, and then I’m just trying to hit them on target."

The 76ers have now won three in a row to improve their record to 15-12, and sit fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Related items

  • Heat rally in fourth quarter to even NBA Finals at 1-1 Heat rally in fourth quarter to even NBA Finals at 1-1

    Gabe Vincent scored 23 points and helped spark a fourth-quarter rally that propelled the Miami Heat to a 111-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, evening the championship series at 1-1.

    The Heat overcame an eight-point deficit to start the fourth quarter to snap the Nuggets' seven-game winning streak and send the series to Miami all tied. Game 3 will take place Wednesday.

    Denver also was handed its first loss in 10 home games during this postseason despite another big effort from two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić, who poured in 41 points on 16-of-28 shooting along with 11 rebounds. 

    Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each contributed 21 points for the Heat, while Duncan Robinson scored all 10 of his points during a pivotal 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter that sent Miami ahead to stay.

    Jokic scored the final six points of the third quarter to give the Nuggets an 83-75 lead that turned out to be short-lived. Robinson had the first eight points of Miami's momentum-shifting surge, and Vincent later added a 3-pointer before hitting two free throws that put the Heat up 90-85 with nine minutes remaining.

    Miami held a 107-95 advantage after Caleb Martin's 3-pointer with 3:39 left to play, but the Nuggets responded with a late charge to put the outcome back in doubt.

    Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray hit 3-pointers to ignite an 11-2 run Murray capped with another triple that pulled Denver within 109-106 entering the final minute.

    After Jokic countered two Butler free throws with a short turnaround jumper with 35.6 seconds left, Butler missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to give the Nuggets a chance to tie.

    Murray misfired on a step-back 3-point try with 1.9 seconds left, however, and Martin grabbed the rebound as time expired.

    Denver, which led by as many as 15 points in the first half, had been 11-0 this postseason when holding a double-digit lead.


  • Miami Heat rally late against Denver Nuggets to even NBA finals series Miami Heat rally late against Denver Nuggets to even NBA finals series

    The Miami Heat produced a fourth-quarter comeback to win the second game of the NBA finals 111-108 and even up the seven-match series against the Denver Nuggets.

    The Heat trailed by eight heading into the final period, having trailed by 15 earlier in the game in the wake of another massive performance from Nikola Jokic.

    Jokic scored 41 points, scoring 16 of 28 shots from the floor including one with 36 seconds remaining which cut the Heat’s lead to three points.

    But after Jimmy Butler missed on Miami’s next possession, Jamal Murray was unable to tie the scores with an effort on the buzzer.

    The defeat was Denver’s first since May 7 and they had won all 11 play-off games in which they had opened a double-digit lead.

    They had trailed 21-10 in the opening quarter before a barrage of three-point scores helped them to a 44-32 advantage which had been trimmed to six points at the break.

    And Miami held on through the third quarter before the late surge that takes the series to Miami all square.

    Gabe Vincent led the way for Miami with 23 points as Butler and Bam Adebayo each grabbed 21.

  • Milan 3-1 Hellas Verona: Leao double condemns visitors to Serie A relegation play-off Milan 3-1 Hellas Verona: Leao double condemns visitors to Serie A relegation play-off

    Milan signed off the Serie A season with a 3-1 victory as Rafael Leao's double condemned Hellas Verona to a relegation play-off with Spezia.

    The Rossoneri wrapped up a frustrating campaign on a winning note at San Siro, with a late Leao brace enough to seal three points.

    Milan had already secured Champions League football for another term but struggled at times against the visitors, who cancelled out Olivier Giroud's first-half penalty through Marco Faraoni's 72nd-minute strike.

    Yet Leao struck in the 85th minute and again seven minutes later, leaving Verona to face a relegation decider with Spezia, who succumbed to a late 2-1 loss at Roma.


© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.