In a highly anticipated rematch, the Sixers couldn’t get revenge on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, losing 122-112 Sunday.
It looks like the NBA has a brand new rivalry in their collective midst.
While it has been almost 10 years since the Philadelphia 76ers managed to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, the games have reached a new level of intensity this season. It started with the now-legendary triple-overtime thriller in South Philly this past December that saw Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook troll and taunt each other nonstop, much to the delight of fans everywhere.
The Sixers ended up losing that contest by a final of 119-117, but they were in the game almost from the opening tip. Throw in some more jabs from Embiid and Westbrook once everything was said and done and every hoops fans circled the date of the rematch on their calendar as a game to watch.
On Sunday, the two teams faced off once again and despite playing some solid basketball, Westbrook was just too much for the 76ers as they fell 122-112 to the Thunder in OKC.
Westbrook finished the night with 37 points, 9 rebounds and 14 assists while Paul George had 31 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Center Steven Adams added another 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Thunder pull away in the fourth and put the game out of reach.
Embiid had 27 points and 10 rebounds while Ben Simmons totaled 22 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
Turnovers once again proved to be a problem for the Sixers. They committed 18 on the evening which the Thunder converted into 25 points. If you want to win against the elite of the NBA, those are the kinds of mental lapses that just can’t happen.
Despite the loss, the Sixers are showing everyone that they are ready to play with the big names of the league and they they should be taken seriously. Plus, there is the brewing Embiid/Westbrook rivalry that should be very interesting to watch in years to come.
Especially when it means we get to see things like this:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 29, 2018
It’s safe to say that just about everyone is looking forward to seeing these two face off again next season.
The Sixers next return to action Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, but it will be without Embiid. It was thought that Embiid might play in the first back-to-back of his career depending how he felt, but he has been ruled out for the game against the Bucks.
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Instead the Sixers will try to play Embiid in his first back-to-back this upcoming Friday and Saturday when they play the Miami Heat at home and then the Indiana Pacers on the road.
Despite the loss, the Sixers are still over .500 on the season at 24-21 and currently sit in the eighth seed for the postseason.