The 76ers concluded their two-game sweep over the Boston Celtics with Friday’s 122-110 win at the Wells Fargo Center. That came after Wednesday’s 117-109 victory.
Here are three reasons why the Sixers beat the Celtics on Friday.
Embiid couldn’t be handled
This is a recording from Wednesday.
For the second straight game, Joel Embiid did basically what he wanted, although Boston tried to be much more physical with him.
It still didn’t matter. Embiid was especially difficult when facing the basket and making his moves.
This video shows Embiid at his best. He has great footwork around the basket and also gets opposing centers off their feet with pump fakes. He did it here against Robert Williams, making the basket while drawing the foul.
So much has been made of Embiid’s better conditioning and it shows with moves like that. On Friday, he scored 38 points after totaling 42 on Wednesday.
Ben Simmons in the fourth quarter
This appeared to be another passive game for Simmons until the fourth quarter. To that point he had four points and only attempted three shots. In the fourth quarter he scored 11 points, hitting 5 of 7 from the field. Here is one of his fourth quarter drives, where he also drew the foul.
All five of his fourth quarter baskets came on drives (one was a tip of a missed drive) and it showed he was agressive going to the basket.
What was more impressive is that four of the five fourth quarter field goals came in a half-court offense. Simmons is usually aggressive in transition, but when it comes to a half-court offense, he is often passive, but in the fourth quarter, he was attacking the basket.
Matisse’s play off the bench
While Tobias Harris was terrific with 22 oints on 10 for 12 shooting, the Sixers got some unexpected offense from Matisse Thybulle, who scored nine points off the bench.
More than the offense was the defense. Here he created offense from his defense after blocking Kemba Walker’s shot
On that play, Thybulle was initially faked out, but used his 7-foot wingspan to block the shot. It was one of two blocked shots Thybulle had and he ended up tying his season high with the nine-point effort.