Sunday, May 29 2022

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their fifth consecutive victory when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

In their most recent game, the Sixers rallied from a 17-point deficit and defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-101 on Saturday thanks in large part to Joel Embiid‘s 36 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

The streaking Sixers have won 14 of 17, the second-best win percentage in the league since Dec. 26. Having a relatively healthy group has been a key component to their recent success.

“We really have the tools,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said. “Build a better house is the way I look at it. It’s nice to put in different lineups.”

Embiid put together an impressive statistical performance with his 17th consecutive game of at least 25 points. Amazingly, Embiid struggled through the first quarter before exploding again.

“For a guy to have 36 on a slow night, it just shows you what he’s capable of,” Danny Green said of Embiid.

The Sixers were throttled by the Grizzlies, 126-91, on Dec. 13.

But the Sixers have improved steadily since that loss, while getting healthy from some nagging injuries and COVID absences.

Embiid has been the catalyst for the surge.

“Guys are building their confidence up together,” Green said. “Taking those shots more confidently when (Embiid) swings it out of post. There was no hesitation. No second guessing. And we all encourage each other in a positive way. Believe in each other that we can make those shots. We’re gonna need it, especially against the great teams and in the playoffs.”

The Grizzlies will be searching for their fourth win in a row when they battle the Sixers.

Memphis ousted the Washington Wizards 115-95 on Saturday behind Ja Morant‘s 34 points. Morant, who was named as an All-Star Game starter, has reached the 30-point plateau in six consecutive games.

Desmond Bane added 19 points, De’Anthony Melton contributed 13 and Steven Adams had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. also scored 10 points each in the balanced effort.

The Grizzlies continue to excel through a difficult schedule as they’ve gone 12-3 in January after going 12-4 in December.

Memphis has compiled back-to-back 12-win months for the first time in franchise history.

“I don’t think it’s too many teams more exciting than us in this game,” Morant said. “I definitely feel like we are No. 1.”

The victories have also accumulated thanks to the Grizzlies’ defense. Earlier this season, they weren’t quite as connected, like when they fell by 28 points Nov. 5 at Washington.

“We’re a much different team now than what we were back then,” Bane said. “We were kind of trying to find our identity, and they smacked us pretty good at their place.”

Now the Grizzlies are the aggressive team, setting the tempo from the opening tip and racking up wins. They’re a legitimate playoff contender.

“We don’t care about the schedule,” Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We just come out and play.”

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports

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