The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a huge comeback win over the Indiana Pacers, all without their superstar center Joel Embiid. Before the game against the Pacers, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said his team needed to finally get a win without Embiid.
On Sunday night in Indiana, the Sixers did that as they handed a 119-110 loss to the Pacers. The Sixers trailed by 16 points but outscored the Pacers 31-6 over the last eight minutes to pull off a comeback win. "I think for a lot of reasons this is a big win," said Matisse Thybulle, whose defense, including four steals and two blocks, played a critical role in turning the game in Philadelphia's favor.
"To be down and come back, to win on the road, to win without Joel, I think a lot of those reasons come together to make this a big win. "I think we all feel pretty good having won it because we all know how bad a feeling we would've had if we lost."
The Sixers had the 'winning mentality'
Sixers forward Tobias Harris delivered for Philadelphia as he scored a game-high 27 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. "Just winning mentality," Harris said of his mindset in the fourth quarter.
"I knew that I was out there, and I was out there today to get buckets to help our team win. We started calling a couple sets for me to get on the block to go to work, and I just was taking advantage of the moment and opportunity.
"And as we were able to cut it back down, it opened up the floor for other guys too, and you know Furk was able to make some big shots and some big plays." The Sixers' zone defense got the Pacers out of their rhythm and Philadelphia dominated the fourth quarter to seal a comeback win.
"Just taking them out of rhythm," Rivers said. "It was great, like guys bought into it and zone is so interesting, especially in the NBA, because of the short shot clock. When you get a couple of stops, it starts becoming more mental to the other team.
"But, yeah, I just wanted to knock them off rhythm. I thought they had such great rhythm against us for those [first] three quarters. Running it toward the end, it was fantastic."