Sports Writing (United States), 23 Feb. The Philadelphia Sixers returned this Thursday against the Memphis Grizzlies (110-105) a game in which they were behind on the scoreboard until forty seconds remained before the final horn.

For the Sixers, it’s their fifth straight win and 17th win in 23 games against Western Conference teams.

James Harden (31 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists) and Joel Embiid (27 points, 19 rebounds and 6 assists) led the locals especially in the last moments.

For the Grizzlies, Desmond Bane stood out with 25 points and 8 rebounds while Ja Morant had a tough shooting night (15 points on 3 of 16 attempts).

Spaniard Santi Aldama contributed 6 points and some great plays for the Grizzlies but had foul issues.

Before the game, the Wells Fargo Center honored Mac McClung, winner of the All-Star dunk contest and who rang the champions bell from center court, although he did not dress afterwards.

The Grizzlies presented the Sixers with a very physical game, something common on Taylor Jenkins’ team and one that made Doc Rivers’ men uncomfortable.

This intensity reached such a point that Harden faced Dillon Brooks after contact a few minutes after the start.

A 52.4 percent shot from the field shot Memphis, who had a raging Bane and went up to 19 points in the first quarter with a whopping 4-of-5 from three-pointers.

The Grizzlies came to overtake Philadelphia on the scoreboard after seven minutes (12-24). None of the Sixers’ outsides drew inspiration from the perimeter with a poor 3 of 9.

With a resounding 22-37, the first chapter ended despite Embiid playing all 12 minutes.

Not everything was offensive success for the Grizzlies as excellent defense was also reflected in the light. Thus, the visitors reached 17 points in the second half.

Additionally, Jaren Jackson Jr. put on a spectacular block on Embiid and reflected his team’s authority protecting the rim and also the frustration of the MVP contender, who wasn’t close to his usual numbers at the time.

The ring was closed for the Sixers, who racked up nine consecutive kills without scoring. Rivers called a timeout and there was a noticeable turnaround with an 8-0 run before going to the locker room.

In any case, a Jackson Jr. three-pointer left the game at 47-59 at halftime.

On the restart, Philadelphia quickly managed to drop below the psychological ten-point mark even though Memphis continued to evolve comfortably.

Embiid got his personal revenge, returning Jackson Jr. the second quarter block and adding another on Bane. In addition, the center started to increase his production with 10 points in the third quarter.

Despite this, Memphis maintained their dominance on the scoreboard at 75-81 heading into the final period.

In the denouement, Embiid and Harden took responsibility, which only in the last period added 8 and 13 points respectively.

They were joined by an excellent Tobias Harris, decisive with 10 of his 20 goals when he burned the ball the most.

In Memphis, it was the turn of unexpected players like rookie David Roddy, who led an 0-6 streak that made us ponder the penalty with an 86-97 with 6.07 remaining.

The Sixers responded with a bullying-fueled 7-0 run from Embiid plus 3 points from Harris.

It was precisely he who returned the initiative to the Sixers from the perimeter (106-105) just forty seconds from the end.

Harden had already shown by then that there were no impossible baskets by scoring three from the corner and finishing possession with two men in the lead.

The home side’s confidence grew and they canceled out Memphis, unable to score any of the three shots they needed to equalize on their final attack (two from Bane and one from Jackson Jr.).

With a controversial finish and a technical double fault on Embiid and Brooks, Harris was doomed from a free kick. EFE


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