NBA Basketball

117
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Oklahoma City 33 26 29 29 117
Philadelphia 25 31 23 36 115
115
12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST0:30 UAE (+1)21:3015:30 ET2:30 PM CTNaN:� , January 19, 2019
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 20,646

Embiid's back barking as 76ers clash with Thunder

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers

  1. The Thunder have won 18 consecutive games against Philadelphia going back to March 2009. That's the longest active win streak in any NBA series, and the second-longest losing streak by the 76ers against any opponent all-time (20 straight versus Celtics, 1971-74).
  2. Oklahoma City set franchise records for three-pointers attempted (54) and made (22) in Thursday's 138-128 overtime loss to the Lakers. The Thunder have dropped five of their last six games, allowing an average of 130.2 points over that span.
  3. Philadelphia is coming off a 120-96 road win over the Pacers on Thursday -- Indiana's worst home loss of the season. The 76ers have won the last 30 games in which they've allowed fewer than 100 points, easily the longest active NBA streak.
  4. Entering the weekend, Joel Embiid ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring (26.9 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (13.3 rpg). The last 76er to finish a season in the top 10 of both categories was Charles Barkley in 1991-92 (eighth in scoring, 10th in rebounding).
  5. Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook are the only two NBA players averaging at least 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists this season. They rank 1-2 in the league in triple-doubles (Westbrook 13, Simmons 7).
  6. Terrance Ferguson is averaging 9.8 points per game this month, shooting 48.8 percent from three-point range (21/43). Prior to January he averaged 4.5 points on 30.1 percent three-point shooting.

Philadelphia 76ers' center Joel Embiid said earlier in the week he was excited for a stretch in which his team will play 12 of 13 games against teams with a winning record.

Now that he's in the middle of it, Embiid isn't about to miss time unless he absolutely has to.

Embiid's health is a concern entering Saturday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The third-year pro struggled in warm-ups Thursday in Indiana because of a sore back. He finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds but repeatedly winced in pain during the game.

"I'll be fine," Embiid said. "I'm a warrior."

Embiid is averaging 26.9 points and 13.3 rebounds, in the top 10 in the league in both categories and first among centers in scoring. He's also in the top 10 in blocks.

The 76ers (30-16) have won three consecutive games and seven of nine entering the start of a tough three-game home stretch against three Western Conference foes. Overall, Philadelphia plays seven consecutive games against teams from the West.

"It's huge," Philadelphia point guard Ben Simmons said after Thursday's win at Indiana. "We're growing, we're learning, everybody's trying to play the right way with each other and we're continuing to build each game."

The 76ers are 10-3 against Western Conference opponents.

In Simmons' second season, and with a roster that includes 11 players in their first three years in the league, the 76ers are making strides. Philadelphia is six games ahead of where it was at the same time last season, when it finished third in the Eastern Conference.

"We're starting to figure each other out," Embiid said. "We've got some big ones coming up and I'm excited about it."

It will be the first meeting this season between the teams.

Oklahoma City (26-18) has lost two consecutive games and five of six.

The Thunder's defense, which has been the league's best for much of the season, has taken a hit of late.

Over the last three games, Oklahoma City's defensive efficiency has been fourth-worst in the league; the Thunder have allowed an average of 136.5 points in their past four games.

"Probably some of that is my fault," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

"Because having the No. 1 defense and being at 19, 20, 22 (in offensive rating), we've got to move that closer to the top end of the league. And we've put a lot of focus on that, the guys have done a great job on that, but there's probably been some slippage on the defensive end with limited practice time, travel schedule, those kind of things."

The Thunder have allowed 37 3-pointers during their two-game losing streak, and opponents are shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the arc over the past four. Entering that stretch, opponents were shooting just 33.3 percent.

"In my opinion, teams have got to be between eight and 12 threes," Donovan said. "That's it. We've got to be able to do that, without sacrificing fouls and layups."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 18, 2019

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