Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs Pick & Prediction JANUARY 22nd 2024

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their sixth consecutive victory when they host the struggling San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

Reigning Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds in the Sixers’ 97-89 victory Saturday over the Charlotte Hornets.

It was the 20th straight game that Embiid produced at least 30 points.

The Sixers finished the first half of the season at 28-13, and that’s with Embiid missing 10 games.

From here, first-year coach Nick Nurse believes that the Sixers can be even better.

‘I think that I’m getting to the point where I think we’re pretty happy in that we know who we are and we know the players on the roster,” Nurse said. “We’re starting to figure out rotations and fill in and plug injuries and all those kinds of things. There is a decent amount of work to do, yet I keep saying that. I also think at the halfway point, we’re probably halfway there, right?”

The Sixers defeated the Hornets without a number of key injured role players such as De’Anthony Melton, Robert Covington, Mo Bamba, Patrick Beverley and Jaden Springer.

Yet they found a way anchored by their MVP. Tobias Harris added 21 points and Tyrese Maxey had 16.

“We could be way better,” Embiid said. “Obviously, we haven’t been as fortunate when it comes to health. I missed (some) games and we’ve got (some) guys that are missing games, but I think credit goes to the coaches. Coach Nurse and his guys. They prepare us every single night.”

The Spurs will arrive in Philadelphia coming off a rare victory, 131-127 over the host Washington Wizards on Saturday.

No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama had 24 points and eight rebounds, Jeremy Sochan added 23 points and Devin Vassell contributed 21. Tre Jones played a terrific all-around game with 11 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists.

In a virtually lost season that has included only eight victories, rallying from a 12-point deficit for a victory had to be a boost of confidence.

“Playing as a team again,” Wembanyama said of what buoyed the come-from-behind win. “I think we were slow. I was very slow. My legs were heavy tonight. And getting some stops. We relaxed and I could feel the shift from all my teammates — me included — in the fourth quarter and, fortunately, it worked. Everyone was involved.”

Wembanyama has missed six games this season, most recently with a sprained ankle. And the Spurs have been cautious with his minutes, playing him about 20 to 24 per game.

“Doctor’s orders,” coach Gregg Popovich said of why Wembanyama sat out against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Sochan said that despite the high-scoring game, the Spurs won because they tightened defensively and made their free throws down the stretch.

“I feel we just locked in and became more aggressive,” he said. “I think those were the two things that helped us get back to a tight game and then take the lead.”

–Field Level Media

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