Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 15th 2023


The Philadelphia 76ers will have another chance to send the Detroit Pistons toward a record-setting NBA losing streak.

The Sixers defeated the Pistons 129-111 Wednesday night and will complete the home-and-home matchup Friday night in Philadelphia.

Detroit suffered its franchise-record-tying 21st loss in a row on Wednesday; the NBA single-season skid mark is 26 by both the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2010-11 season and the 76ers in 2013-14.

Reigning league Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 41 points and 11 rebounds against Detroit. Embiid now will aim to lead the Sixers to their fifth consecutive win.

“He’s been in that vibe on game days, non-game days and everything lately,” Sixers coach Nick Nurse said of Embiid. “He’s scoring in a lot of different ways, which is good. He’s giving (defenses) some variety and unpredictability.”

Embiid was 14 of 24 from the field and 12 of 12 from the free-throw line.

“I’m not seeing anything new,” Embiid said. “I would just say I’m being more aggressive. Taking the shots that are there, making the right plays. They started the game doubling, and then I just kept passing and cutting, trying to get some easy ones before the doubles came.”

Tobias Harris added 21 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 17 for the Sixers, who had a 53-35 rebounding advantage.

Oubre has steadily improved since returning from a lengthy absence while recovering from being struck as a pedestrian by a vehicle accident last month. Oubre suffered a broken rib and other undisclosed injuries.

“I like (Kelly’s) shooting and his confidence,” Nurse said. “He made a couple threes that were pretty heavily guarded. That comes in handy sometimes when you are searching a little bit for offense.”

The Pistons have continued to careen in the wrong direction since starting the season 2-1.

Detroit equaled the longest losing streak in franchise history, a skid that was completed at the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of the 1980-81 season.

The Sixers hold the overall NBA mark of 28 losses in a row, which came at the end of 2014-15 season and the start of the 2015-16 season.

“I don’t want anyone to be happy in this situation,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “I want to see an ornery locker room that’s tired — not just of losing, but tired of missing shots and tired of giving up 39-point quarters.”

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 33 points and Cade Cunningham added 21 for the Pistons on Wednesday.

The short-handed Pistons played without Jalen Duren, Monte Morris and Marvin Bagley III. The thin bench played a role as Detroit looked a bit tired, especially in the rebounding category.

“Rebounding has been a point of emphasis for 24 games — even back into the preseason,” Williams said. “We have to be able to be a team that can finish a play.”

The Pistons shot 10 of 33 from 3-point territory, struggled defensively and couldn’t stop Embiid. Unless they can fix one of these issues by Friday, the skid likely will continue.

“It was hard, but we tried our best,” Pistons center James Wiseman said. “Especially myself because I haven’t played that much. I took on the challenge and tried to contain (Embiid). I didn’t back down from him.”

–Field Level Media

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