The Philadelphia 76ers did well to shake off the pain of a difficult loss to open their homestand and they will try to stay hot when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The youthful 76ers suffered a second-half collapse against the Golden State to begin their stay in Philadelphia before pulling away for a 21-point win over Utah two days later.
“The rhythm of the game wasn’t sort of the identity that we are trying to play with offensively,” coach Brett Brown told reporters after his team committed 20 turnovers in the win over the Jazz. “It ended up being more of a fistfight from the defensive standpoint and the rebounding standpoint.” The Trail Blazers have been surviving in that same way of late, going 4-1 during a stretch in which they have held opponents to an average of 88.8 points. “Defensively we were able to get some stops down the stretch,” guard CJ McCollum said after a 24-point effort in a 100-92 win at Memphis on Monday. “Noah (Vonleh) had some big baskets. Big rebounds. Different guys stepped up. Everybody did a little bit of everything.” Portland entered Tuesday’s action ranked second in the NBA in scoring defense (97.2), while Philadelphia was 26th (108.9).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN Northwest (Portland), NBCSN Philadelphia
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (10-7): Vonleh had season highs with 11 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots in the win over the Grizzlies as he continues to play a bigger role along the front line. “The other team was just missing a lot of shots, and I was just having a nose for the ball,” Vonleh told the media. “Boxing my guy out and going after it, that was my mindset.” Monday began the first of two five-game road trips in less than a month for Portland.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (9-7): Big man Joel Embiid was questionable for the game against Utah due to knee pain, but he powered through for 15 points and 11 rebounds and provided a highlight by inducing a technical foul from Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell after swatting Mitchell’s shot. “The whole game I thought I was kind of flat,” Embiid said of the incident. “I was kind of going through the motions. I needed that, getting the crowd going.” Rookie Ben Simmons didn’t need much motivation all night as he went for 27 points and 10 boards, his fourth straight double-double.
1. Portland SG Evan Turner is 3-for-22 from the floor over a four-game stretch.
2. Sixers SG JJ Redick scored 20 points in each of his last two games while making 4-of-6 3-pointers.
3. Blazers G Damian Lillard averaged 27 points as the teams split two meetings last season.
PREDICTION: 76ers 105, Trail Blazers 99