He finished with 12 rebounds and seven points. After the game, Drummond channeled Public Enemy’s Flava Flav and explained how he had been eyeing up the gold hustle chain ever since he arrived in Philadelphia.
“Well deserved. I saw it the first day I got here,” Drummond said. “I said I got to get that one day and here it is.”
The “Big Energy Chain” – awarded to the biggest workout warrior or the guy bringing the most energy – was mostly earned with big plays off the bench during a quiet night for starter Joel Embiid. Drummond wreaked havoc for a two-minute stretch to start the fourth quarter. He grabbed three boards and scored four points, including an alley-oop slam dunk. It was the exact shot in the arm that Sixers coaches had expected.
“When I went in the game, [Sixers assistant] Sam Cassell pulled me to the side and said ‘We need some energy right now’,” Drummond said. “It was a little stale, guys were not giving much energy, so he gave me the assignment to go out there and just give the best energy I can and just get the momentum going. I did my job.”
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Doc Rivers Calls Game ‘Not Inspired’
The Sixers did walk out of the gym with a much-needed victory as they gear up for a four-game road trip. It wasn’t pretty or inspired, according to Doc Rivers. Obviously the head coach will take it but the effort needs to be better.
“It was a win, not inspired,” Rivers told reporters. “I thought the first six minutes we played pretty much right away with a lot of energy, and then right after that I just think we didn’t play very well. I’d rather win these than lose these, and so you’ll take them and keep pushing on.”
Seth Curry provided the offense for Philadelphia. He finished with a team-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including three triples. Tobias Harris added 17 points, with Embiid dropping a quiet 16 points on a miserable shooting night. The 7-footer looked exhausted after maxing himself out in a double-overtime loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
Embiid played 45 minutes in his first game back from a serious battle with COVID-19. He scored 45 in that one. Chemistry has been an issue for the Sixers after being forced to go with patchwork lineups all year. Against Orlando, they had their regular starting five – minus Ben Simmons, of course. They struggled and blew a 16-point lead.
“It’s gonna be a process,” Harris said. “You know different guys we’ve pretty much had different lineups all throughout the season. So it’s gonna be a process of rhythm and feel and then just getting out the chemistry of how we’re gonna play.”
Brutal Road Trip Coming Up
Rivers’ squad enjoyed two straight games in the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center. Now they are hitting the road again for a four-game swing, including stops in Boston (Dec.1), Atlanta (Dec. 3) and two games in Charlotte (Dec. 6, Dec. 8).
The Sixers just came off a six-game West Coast trip where they went 2-4. Something has to start clicking for them away from home. It begins in the film room.
“Watch the film and figure some stuff out at practice and try to apply that to the game,” Curry said. “You know offensively we gotta figure out how to get back into ball movement, get back to getting into the lane, finding good shots, and not being too stagnant.”