Sixers look to continue road success at Charlotte
The Philadelphia 76ers are finding ways to win away from the City of Brotherly Love.
While that statement shouldn't come as much of a surprise for a team that rests atop the Eastern Conference standings, the 76ers have taken on both Jekyll and Hyde personas given the locations of their games.
Philadelphia hopes Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets follows a positive script as it bids for a three-game sweep of its road trip.
The 76ers, who offset a 31-4 record at home with a 12-26 mark on the road last season, are 10-1 and 5-5, respectively, this season. Philadelphia, however, has won three of its past four games away from home and six of seven overall heading into the finale vs. the Hornets.
The 76ers overcame the absence of three-time All-Star center Joel Embiid (back tightness) and a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to post a 119-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. It was not immediately known if Embiid will play Wednesday.
"It's not rocket science. We are a better team with Joel Embiid on the floor," said Tobias Harris, who scored 10 of his season-high 27 points in the fourth quarter. "But for the nights he does have to rest his body and get himself at 100 percent, we have to figure out our flow and how we are going to play out there."
Harris registered team-best scoring performances to pace Philadelphia to two home wins over Charlotte this season. He had 24 points in a 127-112 win on Jan. 2 and 22 in a 118-101 victory two nights later.
Like Harris, Ben Simmons and Furkan Korkmaz posted season-high scoring performances Sunday. Simmons made 9 of 12 shots from the floor to finish with 21 points, and Korkmaz recorded 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia outscored Indiana 37-15 in the final stanza of regulation.
"I hope we're talking about gratifying wins all year. I mean, that's the plan," said Doc Rivers, who on Monday was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in December and January.
Like the 76ers, the Hornets enjoyed a spirited fourth-quarter comeback to extend their winning streak to three games. Charlotte rallied from a 10-point deficit with 2:47 remaining in the fourth quarter to record a 129-121 overtime victory at Miami on Monday.
"It's been a resilient group all year," Hornets coach James Borrego said. "We never dropped the sword. Our mentality is to keep fighting to the end. Down 10 with two-plus minutes to go, nobody hung their heads."
Malik Monk made nine 3-pointers to highlight his career-high 36-point performance, while Devonte' Graham had 24. Graham, however, made just 1 of 10 shots and finished with five points in the first meeting with Philadelphia before going 5 of 13 for 15 points in the second.
Rookie LaMelo Ball added 14 points and seven assists Monday in his first start for Charlotte. The No. 3 overall pick was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Terry Rozier, who is nursing an ankle injury.
The Hornets could be missing another starter after P.J. Washington suffered a sprained right foot in the third quarter Monday.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 2, 2021