After pulling off an impressive home win, the Philadelphia 76ers hit the road on Wednesday to take on the Charlotte Hornets and begin a 3-game road trip. It was the second night of a consecutive game for Philadelphia, and given the injuries they were dealing with, the Hornets provided a great challenge.
The Hornets were missing LaMelo, and that’s obviously a huge missing piece from Charlotte, but missing Sixers Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey pose a tough challenge on the road. The Hornets were able to make enough plays to earn a 107-101 victory.
Again relying on an all-out effort, Shake Milton scored 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, De’Anthony Melton had 20 points, six rebounds and four steals, Tobias Harris added 19 points, and Montrezl Harrell added 16 points. Seven rebounds. Paul Reid scored six and eight rebounds, George Niang added nine points, and BJ Tucker scored three points and seven rebounds.
Here are the player’s scores after the heavy loss:
When Milton has a steady role and can be in trouble, he will be as effective as he has been lately. He was very good at this finding wrinkles on defense and being able to get to the basket. He also managed his birdie to knock down the open look he was able to find on the attack. He was also able to play his passes as well and was great on the fourth. The only negative is that he had issues on the defensive side of the Charlotte guards defense. He also had a few turnovers late that ran out the Hornets so that was tough.
Obviously someone has to score with the missing team a lot of pieces, but Melton’s offensive game remains a bright spot for this group. He was outstanding in the opening quarter as he set the tone for Philadelphia’s pick-and-roll game. The Hornets played Mason Plumlee covering touchdowns and Melton had easy chances to score in the middle of the run. He was also a blight on the defensive end as he continued to get comfortable with his new team. His downside was turnovers as well as Charlotte dominating an exhausted team in the fourth.
Playing the second night of a back-to-back game and dealing with a groin and ankle injury, Harris continues to lead this pack. There have been many times when the Hornets have turned a little guy on him and taken advantage of the mismatch. However, overall, he didn’t hit the ball very well and looked a bit limited on the defensive end against Kelly Ober Jr. who had a few big buckets late on for Charlotte.
Tucker finally drilled a big three-pointer into the corner in the fourth quarter for his first points since November 12, so at least he finally managed to snap that streak. He was still able to be useful to this group by playing huff and pestering the Hornets down defense, though. It also freed up the guards for several easy looks on offense. With that being said, he looked a bit tired in the fourth quarter when the well-rested Charlotte team started running.
With the Sixers losing Embiid, they need to attack with the starting lineup, so it makes sense why they would still go for Harrell. He has a strong ability to roll to the edge and although he’s having a hard time finishing around the edge at the moment, he makes a lot of mistakes and gets to the line more often than not. This is a needed skill on this team. It also brings a lot of energy and bustle. The big blow he suffered in this match was the struggle from the defensive point of view.
The minivan jumped off the seat and immediately drilled a triple pointer. He missed the next two after that to start his night, but Niang had a nice night overall making two big fourth-quarter evenings to keep Philadelphia in it. He also made some nice plays with his death.
Looking to build on a strong performance on Tuesday, Reid was very aggressive on the glass in his first stint. He’s also had a very nice bucket with his ability to understand where the soft part of Charlotte’s defense is, so he continues to show a better understanding of where it needs to be.
Korkmaz’s return was a good help off the bench. He just has a knack for making some outstanding plays and being able to drop some tough shots. After his fast start, he didn’t do much after that.
It was an untold game for House Jr. Where he missed a three layup and didn’t do much on defensive end either. He grabbed rebounds and scored on free throws late in the game, but that was it.