In a late-afternoon showdown in Detroit, the Detroit Pistons (11-32) and Philadelphia 76ers (24-15) squared off. Even without Joel Embiid or P.J. Tucker, the Sixers were the clear winners. James Harden recorded a triple-double, and Philadelphia defeated the Pistons 123-111.

Analyze the Sixers’ victory over the Pistons.

Sixers Player Notes:

20 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and 7-14 field goals made by James Harden

After having a difficult shooting night, Harden really heated up in the pick-and-roll with Montrezl Harrell and finished the first quarter with seven points, six rebounds, and four assists. He recorded figures in only one half that he had never achieved before, falling just short of a triple-double by one assist at the half. Harden had a solid game overall, even if he could only play for 28 minutes while securing his triple-double.

Tyrese Maxey had 23 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, and shot 8-18 from the field.

After a few games following his foot injury, Maxey is beginning to find his real stride. Although he wasn’t shooting the lights off, he felt really secure firing away from deep and was frequently able to get past the Detroit defense. He scored seven points in the closing minute of the third quarter.

Sixers win vs. Pistons

12 points, 5 rebounds, 0 assists, 2 blocks, and 5-11 field goal shooting for Tobias Harris.

Harris was active but not particularly effective against one of his former squads. Despite having a lot of difficulty scoring, he didn’t hesitate to touch the ball. He had more success scoring the ball in the second half. His defense was strong, highlighted by two blocks.

20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 8-11 field goals from Montrezl Harrell.

After being promoted to the starting lineup, Harrell impressed with his pick-and-roll compatibility with Harden. He made use of the numerous chances he had to put the ball in the hoop after a roll. He seemed to take off on his jump too far from the hoop on a few occasions, leaving a few possibilities untapped. Nevertheless, ‘Trezz had yet another excellent performance.

Paul Reed had 16 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and a 6-7 field goal percentage. For the first time in almost a month, Reed saw additional playing time, and he didn’t miss a beat.

He played excellent defense and had terrific rebounding, not fouling out until later in the first half. Following a miss from one of his teammates, the Pistons’ bigs, no matter who they were, could not keep him away from the ball. Around the hoop, he had a variety of great finishes.

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Pistons Player Notes:

Jaden Ivey: 4-13 FG, 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists.

The Pistons youngster struggled to make much of an impact in this game. De’Anthony Melton was placed on the Purdue guard in an attempt by the Sixers to block his path. Despite not having a huge impact on this one, he still did a fantastic job with his passing.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 20 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and a 7-17 field goal percentage.

Bogdanovic was one of the most sought-after trade targets prior to the trade deadline. Although he didn’t have a spectacular scoring night, Bogdanovic was still able to score occasionally and make crucial passes when several Sixers defenders were paying close attention to him.

He shot poorly from the field, the same as in his previous game against Philadelphia, but he was successful at the charity stripe. He increased his shooting efficiency with a few garbage-time buckets until it was typical.

20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and 7-15 field goals made by Isaiah Stewart

The Pistons big man started the game strong, scoring frequently, tying his career-high of 10 points in the first quarter. He was challenging to stop because of his size and coordination near to the rim. Additionally, he was adept at keeping the ball moving.

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Game notes:

Early Half

  • The Sixers went with Montrezl Harrell in the starting lineup and used the pick-and-roll to start the offense. He was able to score a few points early on while also keeping his head up and looking to pass when he didn’t have a lane. Aside from a missed open dunk, he was great on the offensive end to start it off, scoring 10 points on 4-6 shooting in the opening quarter.
  • Paul Reed subbed in for Harrell in the first quarter. He scored four points and had a spectacular over-the-head, no-look shot from just outside the paint that didn’t count.
  • Maxey once again led a unit of mostly bench guys. He got some nice looks at the hoop, namely an and-one take to the bucket against Kevin Knox after teaming up with Reed to force a turnover from him.
  • Ivey got going in the second quarter, using his strength to get into the teeth of the Sixer’s defense and getting shots for himself and his teammates. On one drive, he rose up and tossed a beautiful pass to Knox for a triple.
  • The Sixers got a nice scoring bump from Georges Niang, who had 11 points in as many minutes in the first half. It’s no surprise that The Minivan would find itself at home in the Motor City.
  • Philly led Detroit 71-54 at the break. Viewers who decided to clock out at halftime in favor of watching Jalen Hurts’ return didn’t miss all that much, as this one was practically already decided.

Last Half

  • Harden notched the 71st triple-double of his career on the Sixers’ first offensive possession of the half with a dime to Harris on a cut to the hoop.
  • The Pistons did a good job of keeping the ball moving on offense, always looking to make the extra pass to get an open look. But they missed on too many of them, the ultimate reason why the Sixers maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
  • Maxey scored on three consecutive possessions to end the third quarter while the offense as a whole got the fourth quarter started with some pretty ball movement. The Sixers also got out on transition for easy looks.
  • Matisse Thybulle recorded a quartet of fourth-quarter steals, notching six on the day (tying his career-high) while also throwing some nice assists.
  • The final score didn’t look nearly as lopsided as the game was because the Pistons starters played down the stretch in the fourth quarter against a Sixers lineup featuring Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House Jr., and three other bench guys.

Random thoughts:

  • The Pistons’ PA announcer referred to Bogdanovic as Bojan Bogdangerous in the starting lineup introductions, which is tremendous.
  • Reed continues to make the most of his limited minutes, particularly with his dominance on the glass. He collected five offensive rebounds in the first half while Detroit only had four. Why the Sixers don’t look his way more amid their rebounding woes is so confusing.

 

 

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