Both the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Pelicans are on track to capture their fourth straight victory at the Wells Fargo Center so this game will hold some type of meaning to them. The 76ers are coming fresh off of a 119-114 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns while the Pelicans handed the San Antonio Spurs a 140 to 126 loss. Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler had no problem fitting right into the system ran by the 76ers as he averaged 18.3 PPG in his first four games with the team.
This meeting between the 76ers and the Pelicans will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will battle each other this season. They have clashed a grand total of 41 times in the past as the 76ers grabbed 21 wins. The New Orleans Pelicans ended up winning 20 of those games.
New Orleans Pelicans:
Cheick Diallo (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 55.6 FG%, 77.8 FT%)
Tim Frazier (coach’s decision; 2.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 29.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 33.3 FT%)
Solomon Hill (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 27.6 FG%, 21.4 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
Elfrid Payton (finger; 9.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 47.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
Trevon Bluiett (G-League)
Kenrich Williams (1.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Demetrius Jackson (coach’s decision)
Shake Milton (coach’s decision)
Justin Patton (foot)
Zhaire Smith (foot)
Markelle Fultz (shoulder; 8.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 41.9 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 56.8 FT%)
Jonah Bolden (leg; 1.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 36.4 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
The 76ers would somewhat have control at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-four percent from the field in the first half while the Pelicans shot forty percent. Joel Embiid dropped eighteen points while grabbing nine boards, dishing out two assists, and blocking one shot. Three of his points would come from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Ben Simmons helped out with seventeen points, four defensive rebounds, one assist, and two blocks while Butler had nine points. Pennsylvania-native T.J. McConnell played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer late in the first quarter.
On the other end of the court, Jrue Holiday chalked up thirteen points on forty-six percent shooting from the field. He also had six assists and two steals while knocking down a three-pointer early in the second period. Former Chicago Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic saw to it that he got ten points, which included a three-pointer in the first quarter. Julius Randle played fifteen minutes off of the bench as he dropped thirteen points but it was the home team who went into the locker room with a 67 to 57 advantage.
The Pelicans would respond as they went on a 63 to 54 run in the second half, shooting forty-six percent from the field while the 76ers shot forty-seven percent. During that run, E’Twaun Moore got hot for twenty-four points on fifty-six percent shooting. He was able to drill three three-pointers while Holiday collected seventeen more points. Five-time All-Star Anthony Davis would continue to have a quiet night as he was held to just six points. He finished the game with twelve points. Randle played thirteen minutes off the bench in the second half as he had nine points which included two three-pointers in the third period.
As for the Philadelphia club, Embiid chalked up thirteen more points on fifty percent shooting. He also had ten more rebounds while hitting a shot beyond the arc late in the fourth quarter. Former New York Knicks player Wilson Chandler helped out with nine points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field. Landry Shamet played the most minutes off the bench as he hit two three-pointers and a free-throw to give himself nine points.
With 2.5 seconds left on the clock and the 76ers up, 121-118, Joel Embiid would commit a shooting foul on Anthony Davis, who ended up missing the three-pointer. Anthony Davis would go to the charity stripe to shoot three free-throws. He made the first two free-throws to bring the Pelicans within one but ended up missing the last one as the Philadelphia 76ers survived the game, 121-120. Joel Embiid finished the game with thirty-one points, nineteen rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Jrue Holiday settled for a season-high thirty points, along with four rebounds, ten assists, two steals, and one block. E’Twaun Moore also had thirty points, as well as two rebounds and one assist.
The Philadelphia 76ers will host Jordan Clarkson (15.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45.7 FG%, 31.4 3P%) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. This matchup will mark the first of three times that these two ball clubs will meet with each other this season. The New Orleans Pelicans will over to the Madison Square Garden as they take on Tim Hardaway (24.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 42.3 FG%, 37.9 3P%) and the New York Knicks (5-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. This will be the last time that these two teams will play each other this season. They met up November 16 when the Pelicans pulled away with a 129-124 victory. During that game, Anthony Davis recorded forty-three points, seventeen rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block while Tim Hardaway had thirty points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.