Zion Williamson Dominates as Sixers Fall to Pelicans
The Sixers would be back in action on Friday after two days off to recuperate after their win over the Boston Celtics. Next up on their four-game road trip would be a matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Between struggles on the offensive end and lack of transition defense, the Pelicans would be able to steal this game from the Sixers. They would walk away with a 101-94 victory, moving the Sixers to 1-1 on their current road trip.
The major factor that led to this loss was the phenomenal game from Williamson. From the opening tip, he got just about whatever he wanted offensively despite the Sixers throwing him multiple different looks on defense.
He would end the night just shy of his career-high in points, and the first triple-double of his young career. Racking up 37 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists. Slowing him down was the key to victory, but like the rest of the league, the Sixers couldn't figure him out.
Friday would be a rare off night for Joel Embiid. Granted it was just his third game since returning from injury, but it looked like the physical matchup of Steven Adams took its toll on the All-Star Center.
Embiid would end the game with just 14 points, shooting 5-16 from the floor. Free-throw shooting would be a glaring weak spot for the big man tonight. Despite being one of the best in the league at getting to the foul line, he would only attempt four free throws (converting all attempts.)
Tobias Harris would start slow in this one but would end up being the star for the Sixers tonight. He would be the Sixers' leading scorer with 23 points and did all he could to help lead a late surge to come back in this game.
After having some struggles in the game against Boston it was good to see Harris bounce back and look like himself.
Ben Simmons would have his hand in just about every area of this game. He would fill up the box score with 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Simmons would also get to the foul line nine times, converting four of them.
One area the Pelicans excel in is rebounding, and it would be apparent in this matchup. Their physicality would be something the Sixers could not match and eventually led to their downfall.
New Orleans would out-rebound the Sixers by 11 and would come down with 10 boards on the offensive glass (one shy of their league-leading average.) That hustle on the offensive glass would result in 15 second-chance points, compared to just six for the Sixers.
This could end up being a game the team wishes they could have back, but they have little time to dwell on it. Looking ahead, the team will be back in action on Saturday in a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.