Philadelphia 76ers roll past depleted seven-man Houston Rockets

May 5, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA;  Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) gets a shot up past Houston Rockets forward Kelly Olynyk (41) and guard Kevin Porter Jr., right, during the second half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit:  Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid posted his 29th double-double as the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to six games with a 135-115 road victory over the short-handed Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Embiid paired 34 points with 12 rebounds to pace an efficient offensive effort for the 76ers, who shot 53.2 percent from the floor, including 15 of 35 from 3-point range.

Philadelphia (45-21) added 20-for-22 free-throw shooting in establishing and maintaining a double-digit effort against the Rockets, who produced a spirited performance despite participating with a seven-player rotation.

The Houston crew shrunk to six when guard Kevin Porter Jr. (16 points, five assists) was lost to a left ankle sprain with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter. Still, it wasn’t until Matisse Thybulle drilled a 3-pointer with 9:53 left in the fourth that the 76ers secured their first 20-plus-point lead of the game at 115-94.

Shake Milton scored 19 points off the Philadelphia bench. Tobias Harris added 15 points while the 76ers’ starting backcourt of Ben Simmons and Seth Curry combined for 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting, six rebounds and five assists while logging 24 and 22 minutes, respectively.

Philadelphia swept the season series with Houston for the first time since 2010-11.

The Rockets (16-50) had nine players out with a 10th, guard D.J. Augustin (ankle), unavailable yet on the bench so that Houston could meet the eight-player minimum. Houston started its 38th different lineup of the season yet pushed the 76ers into the second half, slicing what was a 19-point deficit to 88-76 on a Kenyon Martin Jr. basket at the 6:06 mark of the third frame.

However, when Milton drained a trey at the third-period buzzer, the 76ers extended to a 108-91 lead. The Rockets failed to muster a reply, with their shortened rotation exposed primarily on the defensive end.

Kelly Olynyk led the Rockets with 27 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists while Martin paired a career-high 23 points with 10 rebounds and six assists. Anthony Lamb and Armoni Brooks, the Rockets’ lone reserves, tallied 22 and 20 points, respectively. Lamb added six rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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