Coming off an emotional win in Cleveland on Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers were looking to avoid an emotional letdown when they paid a visit to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. The Sixers entered the contest on a six-game winning streak and they were looking to extend it.
From the jump, the Sixers looked focused on both ends of the floor and thanks to the dominant play of Joel Embiid, Philadelphia ran away from the Hornets 121-82 for their seventh straight win. Embiid had 38 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks as Charlotte did not have an answer for him.
James Harden had 11 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds, Tobias Harris had 18 points and five rebounds, and Tyrese Maxey added 13 points. De’Anthony Melton jumped off the bench and had eight and five rebounds, Paul Reed had eight and 10 rebounds, Shake Milton added 12, while PJ Tucker pulled down five rebounds.
Here are the player grades following the easy win in Charlotte:
James Harden: A
The Beard was getting into the paint early. Every time he saw an opportunity, he was in the paint and giving the Hornets headaches. He didn’t shoot the ball well in this one, but he was able to score when he had the chance, he got his teammates involved, and he was helpful on the glass. It was another really nice all-around game for Harden and it’s a good sign with the playoffs right around the corner.
Tyrese Maxey: B+
Considering the fact that Embiid was once again dominant and Harris had a solid night, the Sixers didn’t need much from Maxey on the offensive end. He took advantage of his opportunities and he had a highlight play when he drilled a halfcourt buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter. He didn’t hurt the Sixers on defense and he played within himself.
Tobias Harris: A
After a miserable night in Cleveland on Wednesday, Harris knocked down a catch-and-shoot triple and then worked his way to a comfortable spot on the floor for an easy look. He was solid on the offensive end in this one as the veteran continues to work his way back into a rhythm. This is the Harris the Sixers will need on an every night basis if they want to go deep into the playoffs.
PJ Tucker: A-
Again, the stat line for Tucker isn’t impressive and won’t wow anyone, but he made his impact. He bothered the younger Hornets players and made an impact on the defensive end and on the glass. It was a normal Tucker night for Philadelphia. He also had a very impressive bounce pass on the break to Harris for a layup.
Joel Embiid: A+
Charlotte big man Nick Richards deserves credit for bothering Embiid early and giving him trouble, but the big fella then responded quickly and had a couple of impressive buckets against him. Once again, he just made it look easy. He was scoring on the block, he was scoring in the mid-range, he was getting to the line, he was powering through people. It was another one of those dominant nights for Embiid. It’s getting hard to come up with words to really describe how dominant and how great the big fella is on a regular basis.
De’Anthony Melton: A
It was a tough night in Cleveland for Melton on Wednesday, but he was much better in this one. He knocked down two early triples off the bench, applied pressure on the perimeter defensively, and he was an overall productive player in this one. The Sixers will take more of this every night.
George Niang: C+
There were defensive issues for Niang in this one as the Hornets were hunting for him in the pick-and-roll, but he made an impact on the offensive end. His mere presence out there forced Charlotte to send attention his way which opened up space for the heavy lifters to go to work. He didn’t have a great night in terms of his own offense, though.
Paul Reed: A
The energy Reed plays with night in and night out is such a big spark for this group. When he entered the game, he immediately made an impact by attacking the glass and being a presence on the defensive end as well. Overall, he played well off the bench.
Shake Milton: B+
It wasn’t the efficient offensive night for Milton as it was in Cleveland on Wednesday, but he contributed in other ways. He hustled back on one fastbreak to tip in a Melton miss and he did a good job of just running the offense for the second unit. He got his points late in this one when the game was already over.
Daniel House Jr.: Incomplete
House Jr., along with a slew of other Sixers, got some extended garbage time minutes with the game already in hand, and he had a few nice moments. He knocked down some tough triples and he had a nice block on the defensive end as he showed off his athleticism.
Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire