The Philadelphia 76ers of Joel Embiid won this Sunday as visitors to about San Antonio Spurs who, led by the Austrian Jakob Poeltl, stood up for the entire game but were unable to turn around a score in which they were always behind (109-115).
The last six times the two teams had met, the Sixers won (27-19), sixth in the Eastern Conference. The San Antonio Spurs (17-30) welcomed the Sixers in the thirteenth position of the Western Conference.
The game was dominated by the Cameroonian of the Sixers Joel Embiid with 38 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and a blockn.
The center is in exceptional form and with his performance tonight He already has five games in a row scoring at least 30 points.
Along with Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris stood out with 18 points each.
for the Texans, Jakob Poeltl had 25 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 blocks; while Dejounte Murray had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists and a steal.
The Spanish Juancho Hernangomez did not have minutes in the ensemble directed by Gregg Popovich.
Embiid marks territory
The match began with Embiid marking territory, shooting from all angles (2 of 2 two-point attempts, 2 successful free throws and a miss from the three pointer) and grabbing 2 rebounds in the first minutes of the game.
With the whole Sixers team passing the ball to the Cameroonian giant from midfield and the pivot controlling the game as a point guard, the game was even with a slight lead from the visitors (20-22 three minutes from the end of the first quarter).
But nevertheless, the Sixers began to make a gap in the scoreboard one minute from the end of the segment (23-29) with a basket by Andre Drummond and that would set the score at the end of the first quarter.
Almost two minutes of the second quarter passed before the score moved, with another basket by Drummond quickly followed by another effective tackle by Tobias Harris, who got the biggest lead of the night so far (23-33 with 9.55 to go before the break).
Four minutes into the second segment, a sensational one-handed dunk from Drummond off a high pass from Harris kept the Sixers ahead by 10 points, a difference that Embiid later increased to 12 points (29-41 with 5.50 left).
Poeltl led the Spurs (13 points and 5 rebounds in the first half) and left a mate three minutes after passing through the locker room.
Devin Vassell, with a triple, temporarily brought the score closer, but two baskets followed by Embiid (16 points and 6 rebounds in the first two quarters) they did not give respite to those of San Antonio (39-47 with 2.34 on the clock).
Both teams played the last moments of the first half as if it were the end of the game and as if, despite the difference of ten points, they were tied.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, a steal and run from field to field resulted in a solo dunk by Charlie Brown Jr. left the light with a 12-point lead for the visitors (47-59).
The second part started with baskets by Poeltl and Murray reducing the difference for those from San Antonio (51-59 with 10.50 to play).
A triple by Keldon Johnson brought the score a little closer, but the Spurs, with an Embiid who threatened them from all sides, it was difficult for them to cut further and prevent the Sixers from continuing to lead by about 10 points in the third quarter.
Popovich sat Poeltl on the bench for a while after a disputed basket was annulled when the score was 68-82 with 3.50 to go.
The Spurs tried to prevent the Sixers from escaping, but Embiid, with a one-handed mate between two opponents, still left no room for hope for his rivals at the end of the third quarter (77-88).
Poeltl narrowed the lead again early in the final quarter, and as the Sixers headed off again, Several plays by Murray once again brought the score closer (88-94 with 8.46 to go).
The Sixers did not want to give up ground and pressed on defense, but another basket by Poeltl further reduced the difference (94-99 with 6.39 to go).
In a great duel of pivots, Embiid hung from the hoop as if walking through the painting and Poeltl answered immediately with another basket (101-107 with 3.42 on the clock).
33 seconds from the end, the Spurs still clenched the knife between their teeth and a breakaway by Murry put the scoreboard to the limit (109-111).
But Embiid made two free throws (109-113) with 14.9 seconds left and White missed a three-pointer for the Spurs, finally dashing the home side’s hopes..