Sixers Fall to Blazers Despite Big Embiid Performance
The Sixers would be back home on Thursday to finish off a back-to-back against the Hornets and Trail Blazers. Portland would be without most of their key players, but they did not let that stop them.
Joel Embiid would put on another incredible performance on offense, but it just wasn't enough tonight. The shorthanded Blazers would go on to end the Sixers' winning streak, stealing this game by a final score of 121-105.
After giving everyone a scare by going to the locker room after buckling his knee coming down off a chase-down block, Embiid would steamroll the Blazers' defense. He would end the night with 37 points in just 33 minutes of action.
This phenomenal Embiid performance would be wasted as the supporting cast would struggle. Tobias Harris would look mortal for the first time weeks, and Ben Simmons was inactive due to calf tightness.
Harris would end the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds while shooting a rough 5-14 from the floor. Furkan Korkmaz would start in place of Simmons and finish as the team's second-leading scorer with 13 points.
The starting backcourt of Danny Green and Seth Curry would have a night to forget against Portland. They would combine for just three points in a total of 38 minutes of action.
Curry has had his struggles since returning to the lineup, and things would continue to go downhill for him. He would play just 12 minutes, exiting the game early due to injury.
Two major areas that led to the Sixers' loss in this one were three-point shooting and rebounding. The Sixers did not connect on their first shot from deep until halfway through the third quarter and would end the night a combined 7-27 (25.9%) from beyond the arc.
Portland would outwork the Sixers on the glass in this matchup, coming down with 14 more rebounds. This area is the biggest standout to the Sixers' effort in this game, letting a team outwork them for rebounds spoke volumes to how gassed and lifeless they were on the floor.
This was a very winnable game that the Sixers let slip through their fingers. Although it might not mean much in the grand scheme, it could be a game down the road the team wishes they could have back.
All the Sixers can do know is learn from this outing and move on. One benefit of the condensed schedule this season is that it allows teams to wash out the taste of a bad loss quickly.
The Sixers are going to need to have short term memory with this loss and gear up for their upcoming matchup. They will be back in action in primetime on Saturday for a battle of Eastern Conference juggernauts with the Brooklyn Nets.