Sixers Look Sluggish in Blowout Loss to Grizzlies
The Sixers laid an egg on Easter Sunday.
Without Joel Embiid, the Sixers were crushed by the Grizzlies, 116-100, at the Wells Fargo Center. In the second game of a back-to-back and down Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and rookie Tyrese Maxey (health and safety protocols), the Sixers looked sluggish and were outworked – and outgunned -- by a young and hungry Memphis team.
The loss drops the Sixers to 34-16. With the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Chicago Bulls earlier in the day, the teams remain tied atop the East.
With no Embiid, the Sixers struggled mightily to find offense in the first half. Outside of Tobias Harris (13 points), no Sixer had more than six points. Ben Simmons seemed to give the team life at times but was limited because of foul trouble.
The bench didn’t fare much better, getting outscored 17-8. As a team, the Sixers shot just 36.4 percent from the field and went 5 of 18 from three in the first half. They also went just 5 of 10 from the line, including two rare misses from Seth Curry.
The Grizzlies didn’t exactly light it up -- and the Sixers’ defense was solid -- but they did manage to shoot 7 of 17 from three. Dillion Brooks (13 points, 2 of 2 from three) and Jonas Valanciunas (10 points, nine rebounds) led the way. With Mike Scott in the starting lineup, Valanciunas was especially difficult to deal with early.
Memphis led by as much as 13 and took a 52-42 lead into the locker room.
Things got much worse in the third as the Sixers’ offense continued to look anemic and the Grizzlies couldn’t miss from beyond the arc. Memphis was able to extend its lead to as many as 28 as the Sixers’ defense began to fall apart. The Grizzlies took the third quarter 45-29, all but sealing the game.
Memphis came into this game in the bottom third in the NBA in three-point shooting at just over 35 percent. On Sunday night, the Grizzlies hit 16 of 38, good for 42.1 percent. Their athleticism and versatility presented the Sixers problems all night. The Sixers shot just 41.6 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from three.
Harris finished with 21 points. The only other Sixers to score in double figures were Shake Milton (14) and Paul Reed (10), who both did a lot of their damage with the game out of hand. Memphis had seven players in double figures.
The Sixers will get a day off Monday ahead of their four-game road trip beginning Tuesday in Boston.
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