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76ers can polish off perfect homestand by beating Clippers

Dec 21, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) attempts a three pointer against the Detroit Pistons during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will look to sweep a seven-game homestand when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

The Sixers won their sixth in a row with a 113-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Philadelphia has continued to surge without standout Tyrese Maxey, who remains out for at least one more week with a fractured left foot.

“We’re doing a lot of good things,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said. “A lot of good things on both ends of the floor. Offensively, we know where to cut and we know where to space. When we need a basket, our guys know where to go.”

As usual, Joel Embiid led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for his eighth 20-10-5 game of the season, which is tied for third most in the league.

Embiid easily could have scored more but he’s steadily improved as a passer, especially out of the double team.

“A lot of teams are sending doubles, I hate to give away the scouting report, for no reason,” Georges Niang said. “Before he even dribbles. He’s (Embiid) been doing a great job of holding the ball and baiting them. And then if they don’t come, then he goes into his move. If they do come right away, just finding someone else, and the ball is hopping and we’ve done a great job of making shots and making plays off his playmaking.”

Six Philadelphia players scored in double figures and P.J. Tucker swept 10 rebounds in the balanced effort. After a 12-12 start, the Sixers have stepped up at home.

“We’re playing better. We really are. As I said before the game, we have a lot of work to do,” Rivers said.

After losing by 16 points to the Phoenix Suns, the Clippers have responded with consecutive wins over the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets.

The Clippers handily defeated the Hornets, 126-105 on Wednesday behind 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists from Paul George, 21 points from Nicolas Batum and 16 from Kawhi Leonard.

Overall, seven players reached double figures for the Clippers, who look to be as healthy as they have been all season.

“It was a sigh of relief at shootaround,” George said of working out with a full roster. “We’ve had some adversity. We’re in good position.”

George (knee), Reggie Jackson (Achilles) and Ivica Zubac (knee) were all listed as healthy on the active roster.

At times this season, the Clippers’ injury list has resembled a MASH unit.

“It felt like opening night a little bit,” Batum said. “I think people have been waiting for this for a long time now. People talk about, yeah, we have a good team, they have a great roster. … They want to see us, what we are all about. I thought we showed them a little bit tonight.”

The Clippers began the season with quite a bit of depth. Finally that depth is readily available.

“It was just good to see everybody back on the floor,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s the biggest thing, seeing everybody healthy.”

–Field Level Media