PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers’ star rookie did not play, and their best player was under the weather. Still, the duo of J.J. and T.J. was too much for the Orlando Magic.
J.J. Redick hit eight 3-pointers and scored 29 points and T.J. McConnell posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 assists as the Sixers cruised to a 130-111 win over the flailing Magic on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the fifth win in six games and third in a row for the Sixers (11-7). The Magic, who got 22 points from Elfrid Payton, dropped their eighth game in a row.
Sixers center Joel Embiid fought through a cold to post 18 points and 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. However, Philadelphia was without Ben Simmons, who was held out of the game with swelling in his left elbow.
McConnell started in Simmons’ place and played his best game of the season. The third-year guard was the catalyst of a Sixers’ offense which shot 50.5 percent from the floor and had 35 assists.
McConnell’s favorite target was Redick, who he called the best shooter he has ever played with.
The Sixers grew a 15-point halftime lead thanks in large part to Redick. All 18 points of his points in the first half came from beyond the arc, including a string of nine straight Philadelphia points that helped them end the first half on a 20-10 run in the final five minutes.
“I kinda blacked out there in the second quarter for a second,” Redick said. “I feel like when you hit a couple shots in a row, the ball is like a magnet and your teammates are just kinda looking for you.”
The eight made 3-pointers for Redick tied a season high. The first-year Sixer also made eight against Indiana on Nov. 3.
“Finding J.J. was huge, it’s like a layup for him,” McConnell said.
Redick and Sixers coach Brett Brown had praise for McConnell, who had just one turnover with his 13 assists. McConnell served as the starting point guard for much of the 2016-17 season so it wasn’t a big surprise to Brown that he played well against Orlando.
“There was a comfort level I had because he held the position for a large majority last year,” Brown said. “He’s one of these players where you don’t sense fatigue much, even though he plays with such a high motor. So the confidence level I had in him because of last year’s experience together was important.”
There has not been much comfort lately for the Magic, who have not won a game since beating the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 10. The eight-game losing streak is the longest for the franchise since dropping eight in a row between Jan. 9 and Jan. 29, 2016.
Defense was to blame for the Magic’s latest defeat as the 130 points allowed was a season worst for Orlando.
“By and large, just not a good night for defensive disposition,” Magic coach Frank Vogel said. “You’re not going to beat anybody giving up 130 points.”
Payton was close to a triple-double with nine assists and eight rebounds to go with his 22 points.
Evan Fournier, Orlando’s leading scorer, added 13 points but was held scoreless in the first half. Aaron Gordon chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds, and Nikola Vukovic had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Orlando, which was playing on the second day of a back-to-back, never led after the first quarter.
“They’ve been off for a couple days and we played (Friday) night in Boston,” Vogel said. “They were a step quicker than us in most things.”
Philadelphia had six players score at least 14 points, including Dario Saric. Saric went 8 of 14 from the field and 4 of 4 from the foul line for 21 points, his second-highest total of the season.
“We’ve created an identity. We know who we are,” Embiid said. “I didn’t think I had a good game today, I know the stat sheet won’t say the say. But guys stepped up.”
NOTES: Philadelphia G T.J. McConnell posted the sixth double-double of his career and his first of the season. His last double-double came April 8. ...Philadelphia G J.J. Redick hit six 3-point attempts in the first half against the Magic. The six made 3-pointers were the most in any half by a player in the history of the Wells Fargo Center. ...The last time Orlando gave up at least 130 points came on March 27 when the team allowed 131 to the Toronto Raptors. ....Orlando C Nikola Vucevic matched a season high with 14 rebounds. He also had 14 boards against Minnesota on Nov. 22.