Seth Curry always had the clutch gene. Literally. Now he’s showing the world that he’s not just Stephen’s little brother. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard poured in 22 points to power the Sixers past the Bulls 103-98.
His chaotic Alex in Wonderland pull-up jumper with 10.7 seconds left iced it. Joel Embiid answered with a text book block on DeMar DeRozan to further slam the door shut. Curry has 45 points over his last two contests while averaging 16.4 points per game on the year. He ranks third in the NBA in three-point percentage (54.1%) after drilling two more against Chicago.
Philadelphia improved to 6-2 on the year and closed out their first homestand with four straight wins. They didn’t make it easy after surrendering an 18-point lead, including a brutal third-quarter stretch where they were outscored 12-2.
Credit Curry for swooping to the rescue, along with another impressive performance from Georges Niang (18 points, 6-of-12). He might be the most underpaid player in basketball. Embiid finished with a quiet 18 points and nine rebounds as he gutted it out on a hobbled knee.
More impressively, the Sixers beat the top team in Eastern Conference without two starters. Danny Green sat this one out with a day-to-day hamstring injury while Tobias Harris remained sideline after testing positive for COVID-19.
Matisse Thybulle (eight points, two blocks) and Furkan Korkmaz (11 pooints, five rebounds) took their spots in the starting five. Head coach Doc Rivers was forced to go with a shortened nine-man rotation and ran several small lineups out there. Everyone contributed. Everyone stepped up.
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Tobias Harris Battling Coronavirus
Harris missed his second straight game after testing positive for COVID-19. The Sixers star was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols which keeps infected players out for at least 10 days. Harris may miss more time after Rivers told reporters he is dealing with a symptomatic case and “not doing great.” There is no timetable for his return at this point.
“He’s doing OK but not great, honestly,” Rivers said, via Tim Reynolds. “It hit him for sure. A lot of guys have had this and they are mad, like ‘what the hell, I’m fine.’ Tobias is not in that category right now, I can tell you that.”
The 29-year-old is fully vaccinated, according to Keith Pompey. Which makes the situation doubly frustrating. Harris was averaging 19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists per game.
Embiid Details Shooting Struggles
Embiid hesitated before teeing up a wide open three-pointer against Chicago. The shot was falling through the hoop, then took a quick U-turn and rimmed out. The big man was 1-of-5 from three-point land and he’s gone 3-of-15 from deep since October 26. After the game, Embiid talked about getting used to the new ball since the NBA switched from Spalding to Wilson brand.
“The ball is different. Still not totally feeling comfortable with it,” Embiid said, via Derek Bodner. “At some point, it’s gonna come. I’m not worried about it. Every single day I’m gonna keep working at it.”
Embiid isn’t the first player to complain about the change. Paul George and CJ McCollum voiced their opinions on it. It’s going to take some time for everyone to adjust.