Tyrese Haliburton ‘Woos’ Sixers After Kings Trade Nixed

Tyrese Haliburton, Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid and Tyrese Haliburton talk after a 103-101 Sixers' win in Philadelphia on January 29, 2022.

If Tyrese Haliburton wasn’t at the top of the Philadelphia 76ers’ wish list prior to Saturday night, he definitely is now. The 2020 first-rounder put on a clinic at the Wells Fargo Center and the Philly faithful left the arena in awe.

So did the majority of Sixers players who tried guarding him. Haliburton finished with 38 points and seven assists in 40 minutes. With starting point guard De’Aaron Fox out, the 21-year-old stole the show in a losing effort. After the game – a 103-101 win for the Sixers – all anybody wanted to talk about was Haliburton.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard notched 14 points in the fourth quarter and knocked down four of his game-high five three-pointers in the frame. One of them was an acrobatic fadeaway triple in front of the Sixers’ bench. Georges Niang was draped all over him, with Danny Green trying to switch off his man.

“Woo! I think that describes enough of it right there,” forward Danny Green said of Haliburton. “That side-step, step back fadeaway over the backboard in the corner, I thought that was, for sure, gonna come off hard. It didn’t touch anything but the net, and that kind of shows the night he [Haliburton] had. He was getting the free-throw line a lot, though. He was very active, he was getting to the paint.”

Haliburton was 11-of-19 from the field. He went 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. And shot 5-of-9 from three-point range. He also provided pesky defense on Sixers guards Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry all evening.

“This is the NBA. Anybody can have a night on any night,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “You see it all the time. He made some tough shots. I thought early on, we didn’t guard him very well, but he’s a good player. He’s a terrific player.”

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Sixers Twitter Reacts to Haliburton’s Big Night

Haliburton has been identified as the Sixers’ preferred trade target for Ben Simmons. Fox would be a nice consolation prize, but he doesn’t fit the offense as well. The Sixers and Kings had been discussing parameters for a potential deal until talks broke down earlier this week.

Sacramento isn’t open to trading either Haliburton or Fox as the organization wants to build around those two young players. Six months of negotiations went up in smoke because Sixers president Daryl Morey’s “asking price remains too high,” via the Sacramento Bee. And Simmons will likely stick around Philly after the trade deadline.

But Sixers fans can dream, right? They gushed over Haliburton on Twitter and fans at the game serenaded him with (subtle) cheers.

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Joel Embiid Keeps Scoring Streak Going

Joel Embiid kept his streak of 17 straight games with at least 25 points alive on Saturday night. The All-Star center had 36 points, 12 rebounds, six assists while getting to the free-throw line 18 times. Embiid didn’t think the refs were calling everything in the first quarter, so he took matters into his own hands.

“I’m gonna make you call, whether it’s an offensive foul or a defensive foul. I’m gonna use more of my power,” Embiid said. “And in that first quarter, I wasn’t getting calls that I thought were going to be fouls. Like I said, in my mind I was just like ‘you’re going to have to call it.’ I’m gonna make you call it and if you don’t want to call it, I’m gonna take it to another level.”

Embiid is averaging 33.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists while shooting 54.2% from the field over his last 20 games. The Sixers are 15-5 during that stretch and his 13 double-doubles are the fourth-most in the NBA.

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