Philadelphia 76ers need extra time but defeat Charlotte Hornets
Embiid nets 42 in win over Hornets
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.
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.
Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, right, shoots over Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons during Friday’s game.