Preview: 76ers at Pelicans
The Philadelphia 76ers are having a tough time with All-Star center Joel Embiid on the sidelines and will try to find a winning formula without him when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. After struggling to get past Miami on Thursday at home while Embiid (knee) began what is expected to be at least a week-long absence, the Sixers were embarrassed 130-115 by Portland on Saturday.
The Trail Blazers had a 61-42 advantage on the glass and scored the most points for a Philadelphia opponent in a regulation game this season. “We just didn’t rebound well enough against a team like this,” point guard Ben Simmons told reporters. “It’s a group effort rebounding. I think just all of us combined, I don’t think we did enough.” The Pelicans have a very different drama with their star big man, Anthony Davis, and they angered some fans by resting him Saturday at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. Jrue Holiday helped send the fans home happy by scoring 27 points in New Orleans’ 128-115 triumph.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Philadelphia, FS New Orleans
ABOUT THE 76ERS (38-22): Simmons scored 29 points and Tobias Harris added 20 in the loss to the Blazers as Philadelphia fell two games behind third-place Indiana in the Eastern Conference. “Clearly we miss Joel,” Harris told reporters. “There’s no getting around that. He’s a big piece to our team, but we don’t have him right now and we have to be able to get efforts from everybody else on the team.” Veteran guard JJ Redick has seen his scoring total fall in each of the last five games after a seven-point effort in the loss and he is 4-for-15 from beyond the arc since the All-Star break.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (27-34): Forward Cheick Diallo has taken advantage of some available minutes while the Davis drama plays out and notched his second straight double-double while making all eight of his shots against the Lakers. Julius Randle added 24 points, Ian Clark had 17 off the bench and Elfrid Payton finished with 14 and nine assists as New Orleans put forth a team effort without its All-Star. “I think you can take all the guys that were involved in the game in some stage,” coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. “They did something positive for us.”
1. Holiday scored 30 points while Davis was limited to 12 in a one-point loss at Philadelphia earlier this season.
2. Diallo has 34 points and 28 rebounds in 45 minutes over his last two games.
3. Sixers PG T.J. McConnell has 23 assists and two turnovers over his last six games.