In a game with far-reaching consequences for the state of the Eastern Conference standings, the Indiana Pacers went head-to-head with the Philadelphia 76ers. This was both teams' first game in the NBA bubble.
Both the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers had a 39-26 record going into the game, but the Pacers were higher up in the standings owing to their superior division record.
The Indiana Pacers received a shot in the arm as Victor Oladipo was cleared to play, and the former All Star was featured in the starting five. This was big for them given the fact that Malcolm Brogdon was ruled out from the faceoff against the Philadelphia 76ers with a neck injury.
The Philadelphia 76ers had injury problems of their own with doubts about Embiid's fitness, but the Cameroonian was given a clean bill of health on Friday.
Twitter reacts to Indiana Pacers vs Philadelphia 76ers
The game started off with the Philadelphia 76ers running out to a 14-6 lead. But they were soon pegged back as they ended the quarter down 35-27, and they entered the locker room 6 points down at 61-55.
A strong 3rd quarter showing saw them take a 6-point lead into the 4th quarter. Unfortunately for them, despite Myles Turner fouling out, the Indiana Pacers' guards and TJ Warren's offense proved too hot for the Philadelphia 76ers to handle.
TJ Warren was expected to be the Indiana Pacers' primary scorer on the night, and he wasted no time getting into rhythm. After the Philadelphia 76ers got to an early 8-point lead, Warren's shooting turned the game on its head. The Indiana Pacers headed into the first quarter break with a 35-27 lead, with Warren getting 19 of those himself.
The adulation poured in for TJ Warren the same way as he poured in the buckets on the night. Warren finished with 53 points, the highest points total by a player in the NBA bubble, and the highest score by a Pacer since Jermaine O'Neal.
Warren pulled no punches in the post-game interview, calling out the Suns' stinginess in trading him for cash considerations.
The Philadelphia 76ers were no slouches in this game. Joel Embiid put up a monster 41 point, 21 rebound performance, while Tobias Harris went off for 30 himself.
NBA Twitter spotted a few refereeing infractions - namely on the 8-second rule that they failed to apply on a couple of occasions in clutch as the Sixers applied a full-court press.
Philly's starting guard Shake Milton was also the butt of NBA Twitter's jokes.
It was a night of despair for the Sixers, all said and done.
Published 02 Aug 2020, 07:32 IST