What we learned from the Sixers’ 120-113 win over the Thunder on Monday night ...
Just look at Joel Embiid’s third quarter, where the big man was on the court for 10 of the period’s 12 minutes despite playing with a dislocated finger that he suffered late in the first quarter. It was a gutsy outing by the big man, but you’d certainly hope that the Sixers wouldn’t be in a position to ask so much out of their star. But with the team mired in their longest losing streak since early in the 2017-18 season and with Ben Simmons picking up his fourth foul three minutes into the second half, Brett Brown clearly felt like he did not have many other options.
Embiid wasn’t dominant, but he made several plays down the stretch to help the Sixers escape with a badly-needed win. With 55 seconds remaining, he corralled an offensive rebound and kicked out to Tobias Harris for a corner three that put the Sixers up 115-106 in a game that they’d led by just two points with two minutes remaining. Embiid ended up playing 33 minutes on a night where four of the five Sixers’ starters played the final 10 minutes with 4+ personal fouls.
Or, at least, he is no longer completely asleep. Scott hit two big threes in the fourth quarter to help the Sixers keep their head above water against a Thunder team that made things awfully hairy in the second half. Scott hit a corner three with seven minutes remaining to give the Sixers some breathing room at 101-97. A minute later, he drained one from above the break to put them up 104-99.
That might not be worthy of a 30-for-30, but it was something, especially when you consider that Scott had not hit multiple threes in a game since Dec. 21. He entered the game shooting just .341 from three-point range on the season, which would be his lowest mark over a full season since his second year in the league. He entered the night having missed 15 of his last 18 over a six-game stretch. It’s been that kind of season for the veteran stretch four. After starting the year shooting .396 from deep in his first 17 games, Scott endured a 1-for-16 slump, followed it with a 15-for-30, and then followed that by shooting .233 in the nine games heading into Monday night.