Pacers aim for revenge against streaking Sixers
Posted on: 14 Nov, 2023 at 07:08 AM
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
The surging Philadelphia 76ers look for their ninth consecutive victory when they host the Indiana Pacers in the league's in-season tournament Tuesday.
It will be a rematch after the Sixers defeated the Pacers 137-126 Sunday behind a career-high 50 points from Tyrese Maxey.
The Sixers have won eight of their first nine games for the first time since 2000-01 when they last reached the NBA Finals.
Reigning league Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid had 37 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists in 33 minutes as the Sixers improved to 6-0 at home.
This East Group A matchup will be Philadelphia's second in-season tournament game following a road win against the Detroit Pistons last Friday.
"I think Joel wanted me to get 50 more than I think myself did," Maxey said. "He was going to grab the ball and was like, ‘You are going to shoot this basketball.'
"I just appreciate my teammates, appreciate the fans, coaching staff. It was a great night. We got the win and that's what matters the most."
The Sixers won without key contributor Kelly Oubre Jr., who was released from an area hospital after being struck by a car with undisclosed injuries on Saturday.
Without Oubre Jr., however, Philadelphia continued to execute on both ends of the court.
"Just playing together. Trusting each other," Embiid said. "It may not have looked like it defensively, but this team (Pacers), they just play so fast. It was incredible the type of pace they play at.
"So obviously, they are going to score a lot and there's going to be a lot of possessions, but I thought we just competed."
The Pacers, who won their East Group A opener 121-116 over the Cleveland Cavaliers Nov. 3, will look to rebound following the 11-point loss on Sunday.
Tyrese Haliburton was stellar with 25 points, 17 assists and zero turnovers. Myles Turner added 22 points and Buddy Hield had 16.
Indiana didn't struggle offensively; it was the opposite end of the court that was troublesome.
"Look, they had over 30 each quarter," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. "So we're going to have to take a hard look at it and there are obviously a lot of things we can do better.
"And we will have to adjust. I mean some of it, we're just going to have to sit down and play with more force and play better. And then we'll see what other adjustments make sense."
Maxey and Embiid ran a lot of pick-and-rolls, and the Pacers seemed flustered. Yet they still held a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter before a late Sixers run put the game away.
"I think that's presenting us challenges, but at the same time it's not the only time we're going to see a duo like that throughout the year," Turner said. "It's committing ourselves to making adjustments on the fly, so making sure we watch the film from this game, we see these guys again in a night or two, it's good to get these challenges early."
While the loss stung, Carlisle is confident in his group.
"We got a high character group. When we get hit in the mouth, we usually respond well," he said. "But it's hard to play from behind in this league. We got to work in getting a better start on Tuesday."
- Field Level Media