By Peter Brennan
It is not an overstatement to say that the Sixers are playing a “must-win” game today in Cleveland.
They dropped road games to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and have lost five of seven overall. They’s 4-0 at home and 3-5 on the road.
Joel Embiid registered his sixth double-double of the season with 31 points and 12 rebounds and Josh Richardson added a season-high 28 points in a 127-119 overtime loss to the Thunder on Friday. But once the game was extended to overtime, the Thunder pulled away rather easily.
“We’re obviously frustrated,” said forward Tobias Harris, who scored 21 points and hit 3 of 4 shots from 3-point range to snap an 0-for-23 drought.
“Losing five of seven is not where we want to be. It’s early in the season, and right now, we’re going to progress and get better and find ways to figure out ways to help each other and help our team and go from there.”
In the loss, Ben Simmons put up 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, but all of his field-goal attempts came close to the basket. Simmons has been criticized for not being willing to shoot jumpers in the mid-range game or from 3-point land. Simmons has yet to attempt a 3-pointer this season.
“I just played. I went to the hole, was being aggressive and tried to make the right play every time,” Simmons said. “And just being me. J-Rich (Richardson) and Joel (Embiid) told me to keep playing that way and get out of my own way.”