The 76ers opened up a three-game road trip to Atlanta against the Hawks where Trae Young put on an absolute show, dropping 39 points and 18 assists, along with six rebounds.
Simmons and Embiid fell short of the Hawks, each having scored more than 20 points each. The Hawks were victorious in Atlanta, 127-117. After the loss, Philadelphia ventured to Boston to face their eastern conference rival, the Celtics. The last meeting, without Embiid, the 76ers managed to pull out with a win 109-98 at the Wells Fargo Center. Did Jayson Tatum and the young Celtics squad have a different idea in mind during this meeting?
The Celtics opened the gates strong in the first quarter by destroying the Philly squad and leading 32-19 after the first 12 minutes. Without Kemba Walker due to a flared knee, the Celtics were forced to look elsewhere for a leader on the court. Luckily, Marcus Smart, averaging 12 points per outing is a great utility man. Smart filled the role of Walker to the best of his ability in the starting guard position, answering with 16 points and four assists. Young stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum lit up the TD Garden with Tatum having 25 and Brown with 32. The Sixers shot a dreadful 36 percent from the field opposed to Boston’s 48 percent.
Embiid, coming off a gruesome finger injury was far from himself in this match. Embiid’s 11 points and just five rebounds was a disappointment due to limited minutes played. Ben Simmons looked like the only Sixer who showed up for the game. Simmons finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds and five assists. The quiet play of the 76ers was costly as they were dropped by the Celtics with a final score of 116-95.
The Sixers traveled south next to Miami to visit their former teammate Jimmy Butler. The Heat stands at a record of 34-15 this year and are fourth in the eastern conference, two spots above Philadelphia.
Led by former Sixer, Butler, who signed a four year $142 million deal this past offseason, the Heat are shocking the NBA world as many thought they would not be contenders coming into this season. Butler leads the team in scoring with 20 points a game, 6.8 assists and 6.3 steals. Alongside Butler are young stars Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. Ranked eighth in rebounds, Adebayo averages 11 per game. The rookie guard out of Kentucky, Tyler Herro, averages 13 points and shoots 40 percent from three.
The Sixers came into this game on a two game losing streak, looking to gain back the momentum they are accustomed to having. Jimmy Butler went on a tear against his former team and had 38 points and seven boards. Along with Goran Dragic’s 24 points and six assists. Bam Adebayo contributed with a double-double as the Heat continued the Sixers losing streak to three games and won 137-106. The Sixers fell short in result of their 14 turnovers compared to Miami’s three.