Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers by scoring 21 points, while Ben Simmons added 12 points in his return to the team as the home team hand over Oklahoma City Thunder their franchise worst 14th straight loss. The Philadelphia 76ers also had NBA high 22 steals in this particular game.
Simmons punctuated the end of the first half with fast-break dunk off a turnover for a 60-45 lead. Busy on both ends of the court, Simmons hustled to the baseline and blocked a Thunder shot with the Sixers ahead 17. Embiid was just as good after sitting out the second game against the Bucks. And while the Sixers might have won this game without Embiid and Simmons, Rivers knows he needs his stars down the stretch.
Philadelphia 76ers beat Oklahoma City Thunder 121-90
The Sixers know a thing or two about long losing streaks. Philadelphia had skids of 26 and 28 games between the 2013-15 seasons — and drafted Embiid and Simmons out of that mess. The Thunder have 34 draft picks over the next seven years and can only hope they find franchise cornerstones like the Sixers did during their rebuild dubbed The Process.
Simmons proved his value to the Sixers after missing the last four games with a viral infection. The Sixers even listed the All-Star as out against the Thunder before reversing course and sticking him in the lineup. The Sixers went 0-4 over that span — the first two at home, then consecutive games at Milwaukee — and lost their grip on first place in the Eastern Conference.