The Philadelphia 76ers looked to continue their winning streak on Saturday when they paid a visit to the Indiana Pacers. Philadelphia went into the contest as a seven-game winner and wanted to win not only that three-game road trip, but the season series with the Pacers.
They also entered the night short-handed as James Harden and PJ Tucker were held out due to injuries. Considering it was the second night of a back-to-back for the Sixers, it made sense.
Luckily for the Sixers, they were able to have both their Star Big Man and their Rising Star Guard. Joel Embiid had 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Philadelphia to another easy 141-121 win over the Pacers, while Tyrese Maxey added 31 points and seven assists.
Tobias Harris contributed 24 points and five rebounds with four assists, De’Anthony Melton added 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals, and Georges Niang added 10 from the bench. Paul Reed also had 10, Shake Milton had nine and five assists, and Jalen McDaniels had seven.
Here are the player ratings after the win:
Tyrese Maxey: A+
Considering Harden was out for that one, they needed Maxey to step up and be the second guy next to Embiid. He was aggressive from the start as he could get into the paint with his aggressiveness and knock down deep triples. His offensive ability in this case was impressive. Indiana sent a lot of pressure on him, but instead of withering, he went straight to the basket and he was aggressive. He also took advantage of a lazy defense, knocking down shots as they retreated. He was great all round in that game to give the Sixers a big boost.
De’Anthony Melton: A+
This was a very good Melton game. He was a plague defensively on the outside border and he was aggressive with his offense in the early stages. His ability to force turnovers on defense and also capitalize on his open opportunities on offense gave the Sixers a big spark off the bench on this occasion. Philadelphia needed it. Overall he was phenomenal and Philadelphia needed that effort as they were so undermanned.
Daniel House Jr.: B
After Philadelphia missed Tucker, the Sixers received a good performance from House Jr. He played well defensively and knocked down a three-pointer on offensive end. He’s been playing very well since rejoining the rotation in early March and is committed to racking up some playoff minutes.
For the second year in a row, Harris was very good on offense. The Sixers looked for him in his spots and he was then able to produce in those spots. He was able to use his size and strength to score against the smaller Pacers, and he was helpful off the glass as well. When Harris is committed and involved, as he was on this occasion, he’s a very different and helpful player.
Joel Embiid: A+
Myles Turner is obviously a competitive advantage over anyone the Hornets could throw at Embiid, but he reacted quickly after a difficult start. There were a few times the Pacers tried to drive into the paint and the big guy scared them off. The mere presence of Embiid on the defensive end is so intimidating to opposing ball handlers and guys getting in the paint. Then there was his offensive work, which was always on point. It’s really impressive how he’s able to get through traffic and knock down jumpers with a feather light touch for a guy his size. He dominated the third quarter to help the Sixers maintain their double-digit lead. In doing so, he set the franchise record for consecutive games with 30+ points at nine.
Georges Niang: A-
There were a few defensive moments where Niang struggled on the ground, but he had another very fine offensive night. He flipped over a triple wing and then scored in the paint. When Niang is able to put down 3’s and contribute on offense like he did in this one, then he’s at his best and it’s getting him minutes. He needs to stay on his offensive rhythm to be of service to the Sixers.
Jalen McDaniels: B-
On his return to the lineup after missing two games with a hip contusion, McDaniels seemed a bit slow on defense, but that makes sense considering the hip issue limits his mobility in some ways. He had a tough finish when fouled and got a friendly throw at a middle-class jumper in the second half to help on offense.
Shake Milton: A-
Despite some defensive problems, Milton was able to contribute thanks to his work at the attacking end. He had nice movement in the paint and converted while being fouled and then finished a tough layup. He also did a good job with his passport so it was a good night for him.
Paul Reed: B-
The first run for Reed was tough. He committed two fouls in four minutes and that forced coach Doc Rivers to substitute him in that matchup. The Pacers have some big guys who are experienced, and that spelled trouble for the young man from DePaul. Of course he was better in the second half.
Dewayne Dedmon: Incomplete
Dedmon earned a few minutes after Reed got off to a slow start and added some offense on one end with an accomplished move in the paint. The defensive end was a bit tricky, however, as despite his size, he just wasn’t able to make the impact the Sixers needed. The Pacers continued to aggressively approach the basket when it was on the ground. He only played three minutes in this one.
Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire