After historic win, Sixers eager to keep rolling vs. Pelicans

Field Level Media

November 29, 2023 at 7:29 pm.

The Philadelphia 76ers had a historic victory in their last game.

They’ll try to maintain their momentum when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

Joel Embiid recorded a triple-double through three quarters as the host 76ers handed LeBron James the most lopsided loss of his 21-season NBA career in a 138-94 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

“You certainly don’t go into a game like this expecting that kind of game to break out,” Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. “When the 3-ball starts going in the way they did early, I think that just energizes everybody.”

Philadelphia made 13 3-pointers in the first half, a season high for any half, on 26 attempts. The Sixers finished with 22 treys while the Lakers made just seven.

Embiid, who finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, sat out the fourth quarter, but the Sixers still outscored Los Angeles 40-14 in the frame. Embiid downplayed his individual statistics.

“I don’t look at that,” Embiid said. “Obviously, we are winning and it leads us to wins. So whatever it takes to make it happen, to win the game, that’s always the focus, whether it’s scoring, defending, you know, passing the ball. So I don’t really worry about that.”

Philadelphia had four scorers in double figures and 11 of the 12 Sixers who entered the game scored. Embiid wasn’t even the team’s leading scorer, as Tyrese Maxey finished with 31 points.

Maxey was pleased that Philadelphia finished stronger than it did in a 127-123 victory at Oklahoma City on Saturday in which it was outscored 41-34 in the fourth quarter.

“We were trying to go out there and be a better version of ourselves than we were last game (against the Thunder),” Maxey said. “I think we closed the game out a lot better than we did last game. … For us to go out and do that wire-to-wire professionally was really good.”

The Pelicans got good news earlier Wednesday with the reported return of guard CJ McCollum, who has been out for three weeks with a collapsed lung. McCollum was upgraded to questionable Tuesday and was cleared to play after Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

A 3-point disparity doomed New Orleans in a 114-112 loss at Utah on Monday, the Pelicans’ second road loss to the Jazz in three days and their fifth consecutive loss in Salt Lake City.

New Orleans made a season-low-tying seven 3-pointers in 22 attempts while Utah made 17 of 48 shots from deep. One of the Pelicans’ 3-pointers came from Herbert Jones and pulled New Orleans within two points with 1:14 left, but the Pelicans missed their final three field-goal attempts.

“We got some good looks,” said forward Zion Williamson, who led the Pelicans with 26 points. “We definitely got the looks we wanted, some shots just didn’t fall. That happens sometimes.”

New Orleans shot 50 percent from the floor but couldn’t make up for the 3-point deficit. The Jazz nearly matched the Pelicans’ game total of treys in the fourth quarter alone by making six.

“I thought we competed,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said. “I thought we played hard. We did a lot of good things. We probably did enough to win the game. (But) they beat us in the 50-50 balls.”

Brandon Ingram scored 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting but missed both of his 3-point attempts as well as a potential game-tying jumper from inside the arc in the final seconds.

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