by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings wrapped up their four-game road trip in Philadelphia on Wednesday on a “low note”. The 76ers Joel Embiid exploded for a game-high 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead his team to a 97-91 victory.
Embiid really was in need of a good game after being held scoreless in his team’s loss to the Raptors on Monday night. Embiid said he didn’t feel any pressure to have a “statement game”, but he was happy his team came away with the “W”.
3rd Quarter letdown
After trailing by just one point at halftime, the Kings put themselves in a great position to steal this game on the road. After starting a bit slow in the third period, Sacramento came alive and kept the score close until midway through the quarter.
The Kings went into a 3:04 scoring drought at the end of the third quarter which allowed the Sixers to outscore them 29-19. Philly led 76-65 after 36 minutes of play and the Kings would never be able to catch up.
SAC outscored the 76ers in the final quarter but it was too little too late. The Sixers (12-6) won the game 97-91.
Spotlight on the Kings
Looking at the final box score there is one glaring stat that jumps off the page. The Kings (7-10) went to the free throw line only nine times on Wednesday night and converted just four of those opportunities. An NBA team is not going to win a game going to the charity stripe just nine times.
To give you a comparison, the 76ers went to the line 24 times in the game – a very acceptable number. They went 20-for-24 (83.3%) from the stripe which helped them to win the game.
Ironically, the Kings outscored the Sixers in the paint 40-38 even though they were facing Embiid, Al Horford and Tobias Harris.
The biggest lead for Sacramento in the game for SAC was one point. The 76ers held a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter.
The Kings also had a tough night from “downtown”. They shot just 9-for-34 (26.5%) from beyond the 3-point line.
- Buddy Hield was the team’s high scorer putting 22 points in the book. He had a tough night shooting going 9-for-24 overall and 3-for-12 from 3-point land.
- Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench to put up 18 points and grab six rebounds.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 points hitting 7 of 15 shots.
- Harrison Barnes scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Focus on the Sixers
The 76ers blocked 10 Kings shots in the game while SAC blocked just three of the Sixers shots.
- Matisse Thybulle came off the bench to score 15 points. He went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and hit 3 of 3 from behind the 3-point line.
- Forward Tobias Harris scored 14 points.
- The veteran Al Horford scored 12 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
- Point guard Ben Simmons recorded a double-double putting up 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Kings return home and will host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center.
The Sixers will face the Knicks on Friday night at the Garden.