Philadel­phia 76ers need ex­tra time but de­feat Char­lotte Hor­nets

Em­biid nets 42 in win over Hor­nets

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By SARAH TODD

PHILADEL­PHIA — What looked like it was go­ing to be an easy win for the 76ers turned into a nail- bit­ing, 133- 132, over­time win Fri­day against the Char­lotte Hor­nets.

The teams traded bas­kets and free throws for the first few pos­ses­sions in over­time be­fore a miss by Char­lotte’s Ma­lik Monk gave the Six­ers an op­por­tu­nity and Ben Sim­mons found room to fly in to the paint to take a 131- 127 lead.

Rookie Miles Bridges scored for Char­lotte but Sim­mons made his way to the freethrow line mak­ing good on his first at­tempt at the line to give the Six­ers a three- point lead. The Hor­nets couldn’t con­nect on their next pos­ses­sion and wrapped up Joel Embi- id, who made one of his free throws for a 133- 129 lead.

Willy Her­nan­gomez made a 3 as the over­time clock was ex­pir­ing but the Six­ers had enough to leave with the win and re­main un­beaten at home.

Trail­ing by three with un­der a minute to play in reg­u­la­tion it was Em­biid to the res­cue. The 7- foot cen­ter hit a 3- pointer off a dish from Sim­mons to knot the game, 117117. Em­biid fin­ished the night with 42 points and 18 re­bounds while Sim­mons fin­ished with 22 points and 13 as­sists.

On the other end, Kemba Walker pushed through traf­fic for a layup to give the Hor­nets a two- point lead with 25 sec­onds left on the clock. But Cody Zeller com­mit­ted his sixth foul as Em­biid drove in, and Em­biid tied the game with a pair of free throws.

A Six­ers de­fen­sive stop, forc­ing a Hor­nets shot clock vi­o­la­tion, sent the game into over­time.

In the early go­ing, the Six­ers didn’t want the Hor­nets to get com­fort­able; they tried to catch them off guard, but Char­lotte surged back from a 21- point first- half deficit.

With a flurry of dif­fer­ent line­ups, and be­hind a stel­lar shoot­ing night from Dario Saric, the Six­ers took off in the first half.

The Hor­nets, who were in Philadel­phia less than two weeks ago and will play them again Nov. 17, felt like they had a lit­tle bit of an ad­van- tage head­ing into Fri­day’s game. With their meet­ings so close to­gether, Char­lotte’s coach said there was a level of fa­mil­iar­ity with the scout­ing re­port.

Brett Brown made some changes, bring­ing Jonah Bolden in early for some sur­prise min­utes off the bench and later em­ployed a small lineup with Saric play­ing cen­ter.

The tac­tics worked through the first 24 min­utes with the Six­ers pulling ahead for a 65- 60 lead at half­time. But the Hor­nets were not go­ing to go away with­out a fight, and the sec­ond half turned into a bat­tle of wills and fouls be­tween the two teams.

Though the usual sus­pects of Em­biid and Sim­mons had pre­dictably solid out­ings, the Six­ers pulled ahead early on when they shifted away from the norm in the first half.

In ad­di­tion to the Six­ers go­ing away from their usual looks, Walker had a quiet first half, scor­ing just eight points be­fore head­ing to the locker room for eval­u­at­ing with tight­ness in his mid­back. In the Six­ers’ 105- 103 home win over the Hor­nets on Oct. 27, Walker fin­ished with 37 points, and his quiet start Fri­day gave the Six­ers some breath­ing room.

AS­So­Ci­ATeD PReSS

The Char­lotte Hor­nets’ Michael Kidd- Gilchrist ( 14) goes up for a shot against the Philadel­phia 76ers’ Ben Sim­mons ( 25) and Amir John­son ( 5) dur­ing the first half of Fri­day night’s game in Philadel­phia. At right is the Six­ers’ J. J. Redick.

AS­So­Ci­ATeD PReSS

Char­lotte’s Kemba Walker, right, shoots over Philadel­phia’s Ben Sim­mons dur­ing Fri­day’s game.

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