The Philadelphia 76ers will look to continue their dominance over the Charlotte Hornets when the two teams meet for the second time in three days Monday in Philadelphia.
The Sixers’ 127-112 win over the Hornets on Saturday was their 12th in a row in the series. In a scheduling quirk, the Sixers will host the Hornets in consecutive games for the first time ever.
The Sixers also will be searching for their fourth consecutive victory overall and 19th in a row in Philadelphia dating to before play began in the NBA bubble last season.
Tobias Harris continued his stellar play with 24 points, including four 3-pointers, on Saturday.
“It’s been great. You can see it,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said of Harris’ recent play. “I think he had one play and he actually scored on it which I almost didn’t want him to with the ISO he had yet late in the game, because that’s what we don’t want really. We like his quick action play. He’s making quicker decisions. He knows where guys are at when he goes, so he’s been deep in actions where we want him.”
Six players reached double figures with Ben Simmons recording his 29th career triple-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. The balanced production was necessary with a thin bench since Furkan Korkmaz (adductor) and Mike Scott (left knee) are both expected to miss Monday’s game.
The Sixers dropped in a season best 16 3-pointers, and the team didn’t appear to be lacking depth. Perimeter shooting was an issue last season so the Sixers brought in the likes of Seth Curry and Danny Green. Curry and Green went 6 for 12 from beyond the arc.
“When we’re shooting the ball like that, we’re dangerous,” Rivers said. “We can every night. We have great shooters.”
After splitting their first four games, the Hornets have lost two straight.
They’ll have a tough task eliminating that streak against the surging Sixers.
Terry Rozier paced the Hornets with 35 points, Gordon Hayward added 20 and LaMelo Ball had 13 off the bench in Saturday’s loss.
Charlotte head coach James Borrego was asked once again about making changes in the starting lineup.
“If there’s changes to be made, we’re going to make them,” Borrego said.
One of the changes could be shifting Ball for Devonte’ Graham. He’s made just 2 for 20 shots and scored just eight points in the past two losses.
“It’s just me and I’m not making shots,” Graham said.
“I’ve just got to help him,” Borrego said of Graham. “It’s on me to try to help Devonte’. That’s on me. He’s going to do his part. He’s going to put his work in. I’ve got to find ways to get him better looks, open looks.”
The roster may need to be tweaked further since P.J. Washington injured his thumb in Saturday’s loss. His status is unclear for the second leg of this matchup.
The league’s schedule looks a bit different this season with COVID-19 causing travel issues and restrictions.
“It’s like a mini-series. It’s like a playoff-type setting,” Borrego said.
–Field Level Media