After the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Indiana Pacers 147-143, Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton was asked why the Sixers were so hard to stop. Haliburton singled out one Sixer in particular as to why they couldn’t slow the Sixers down.
“They have Joel Embiid,” Haliburton said. “I mean, he’s a monster. He’s tough to guard. He gets to the free throw line at will. He didn’t miss a free throw. He’s so skilled. He can score on any level.”
On the night, Embiid put up 42 points while shooting 11-for-16 from the field and a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line, as Haliburton said.
Haliburton also singled out the Sixers as a whole for stepping up against the Pacers.
“I give kudos to those other guys. They stepped up a lot. (Jalen) McDaniels, Tyrese (Maxey) was really hot early and kept it going throughout the game. Danuel House hit some big shots. They had a lot of guys step up that helped alongside that, so when they’re clicking like that, they’re a really tough team to beat.”
With the win, the Sixers are now only two games in back of the Boston Celtics for the no. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Tyrese Maxey Praises Haliburton
Before the Sixers took on the Pacers, Maxey praised Haliburton for the impact he’s made on the Pacers this season.
“He’s really good, man,” Maxey said. “He’s gotten to be able to be the lead ball-handler here. He’s gotten in the paint, created for others, create for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, and make them play really well. He’s really good as well this season. He’s been shooting the ball well, also.”
Maxey talked about how proud he was of his fellow draftee. He even added what he’d like to accomplish alongside Haliburton sometime down the line.
“I’m proud of him. For us to have the same name, to come in the same draft class. It’s crazy, and I always tell him that I’m proud of him. He put on for us an all-star game this year, so hopefully, we’ll both be in there one day soon.”
Haliburton made his first all-star team this year as a third-year player. This season, he’s averaging 20.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals while shooting 48.6% from the field and 40.5% from three. Haliburton matched Embiid’s performance against the Sixers, putting up 40 points and 16 assists while shooting 12-for-19 from the field and five-for-10 from three.
Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker Will Return on Tuesday
After both Harris and Tucker left the Sixers’ game against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 4, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that they would be out for the Pacers game as well.
Pompey added that both are expected to return in the Sixers’ next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 7, pending any unforeseen setbacks.
The Sixers have managed fine without their two starting wings, having won their last two games against the Bucks and Pacers, but they will need them if they plan to get the highest seed they possibly can with the playoffs a month and a half away.