Behind the play of superstar center Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to be one of the NBA’s most proficient road teams this season.
The 76ers aim to keep surging on the road Wednesday when they face the Orlando Magic, who sport the NBA’s worst home record (2-13).
Philadelphia is one of the three teams, along with the Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets, with a league-best 13 road victories. Embiid averaged 36.3 points — including a season-high 43 against Charlotte on Dec. 6. — over his previous seven away games.
Embiid, who was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December, also averaged 10.4 rebounds over that seven-game road stretch. He joined Wilt Chamberlain as the lone Sixers players to average at least 30 points and 10 boards over a string of seven road games.
Orlando’s porous home record includes an 0-11 mark against Eastern Conference teams. The Magic, who are coming off Monday’s 102-98 loss at Chicago for their sixth consecutive overall defeat, have not won at home since Dec. 1.
Philadelphia extending its overall win streak to four games with a 133-113 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday. Embiid recorded his third career triple-double with 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists — one of his other triple-doubles came against Orlando on Nov. 14, 2018 — while tying a career-high with his fourth straight 30-plus-point game.
The 133 points represented a season high for the 76ers, and it was punctuated by a 41-point third quarter.
“I don’t really care about triple-doubles. I want to be able to make the right play,” Embiid said. “Scoring, first of all, and make the right play. Use my teammates and make sure I just put them in the best situation to win.”
Philadelphia went into Monday’s game with Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, Myles Powell and Jaden Springer in the league’s health and safety protocol. Dan Burke also served as acting coach for the second straight game with head coach Doc Rivers in protocol.
The Magic trailed Chicago 88-87 after Franz Wagner’s basket with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Orlando, however, stumbled down the stretch and fell to 0-17 this season when scoring under 100 points.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 21 points and 10 rebounds against his former team, marking his fourth consecutive double-double and team-high 18th of the season. Carter also scored his 2,000th career point in the loss.
Wagner scored a team-high 22 points for his 20th consecutive game in double figures – the second-longest streak by a rookie in Magic history. Gary Harris (19 points) went 5 of 10 from 3-point range and Terrence Ross contributed 15 points off the bench, giving him 48 points in two games since clearing protocol.
“I understand that it doesn’t all happen overnight,” Carter said postgame Monday. “I’m glad that we’re in these games, so we kind of start to get used to playing late in games going against some of the best teams in the league. Because that’s where we want to be.”
Philadelphia has won five straight regular-season games against Orlando following its 101-96 victory on Nov. 29.
— Field Level Media