NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking Points from Philadelphia 76ers win over the Los Angeles Clippers in a chippy game
In the fourth quarter, Joel Embiid and Pat Beverley engaged a heated scuffle which required the referees and teammates to separate them both. Moments later, Clippers guard Avery Bradley and Sixers' Jimmy Butler were fighting for a rebound position when they got tied up, leading to a shoving match and both players being ejected.
"A lot of contact," Butler said. "The game was getting so chippy anyway. Then it happened. It happened so fast, I don't even know what really happened.
Nevertheless, the Sixers sneaked away with a good road win, which takes their win-loss record to 24-14 (0.632), currently in the fourth position out East. They have now won five of their last ten matchups and are 3.5 games below the apex.
On the other hand, the Clippers have now dropped their two most recent games after winning two straight, and find themselves in a 4-6 (win-loss) hole across the previous ten clashes. The defeat has sent them sliding down to the sixth position on the West leaderboard, hosting a 21-16 (0.568) on the season, now 4 games behind the West leaders in Denver Nuggets.
Let' draw out some key takeaways from this hard-fought Sixers win as they finish their five-game road trip:
#1 Joel Embiid makes his presence felt after return from injury
With Embiid out in the previous game with knee soreness, the Sixers had a pretty tough time dealing with the Trailblazers, losing by 34 points in the end.
JoJo was a game-time decision this time around and ended up recording his NBA-leading 32nd double-double of 28 points and 19 rebounds (four of which were on the offensive glass) along with 3 blocks to go with.
He was the sole dominant entity from Philly down low even though LA outscored the visitors 60-48 in the paint. The Cameroonian shot 9-of-19 and also hit two three-pointers in the 35 minutes he was on the court.
"My goal is to be dominant every game," Embiid said. "If I dominate, the numbers will come, but most important is that we win."
This game-high total by JoJo also meant that he crossed the 3,000-point mark in his career, as his points per game average (26.5) this season is the 8th best right now.