After going scoreless for the first time in his career in the 76ers' previous game, Joel Embiid was a man on a mission against the Sacramento Kings.
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Embiid poured in 33 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks on 10-of-19 shooting from the field to lead the 76ers to a 97-91 win to remain unbeaten at home (8-0).
From the outset, he made it clear this was a revenge game, throwing down a monster one-handed jam within the opening 30 seconds.
.@JoelEmbiid brought the yam(s). pic.twitter.com/KTdnuMG2Cc- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 28, 2019
The big man was ferocious on the boards, pulling down seven rebounds in the first six minutes of the game, as the 76ers raced out to a 25-18 lead at the end of the quarter. They struggled to replicate that same intensity in the second, with the offence stagnant as turnovers and some poor shot selection allowed the Kings to claw their way back and cut the deficit to one-point (47-46) at the half.
Embiid finished the first half with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
While Embiid owned the first half, 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle was the story of the second half, with his work on the defensive end, helping spark the team's offence, coming in for Josh Richardson who left the game with hamstring tightness.
"I think once we picked it up defensively, I was able to get a couple stops, Ben [Simmons] got out in transition and I think that's when we're playing our best basketball," Thybulle told NBC Sports Philly post-game.
In the third quarter, he blocked a Buddy Hield three-point attempt, before leaking out for the fast break jam, much to the delight of the home crowd.
LET THE SON FEAST.@MatisseThybulle | #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/ITtisBRA2L- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 28, 2019
Hield was coming off a career-high 41-point effort against the Celtics, but he found the going much tougher against the 76ers, shooting 9-of-24 from the field for his 22 points.
"Just taking advantage of every minute I get. Just trying to get in the game and have a positive impact," Thybulle added.
Thybulle finished with a season-high 15 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-3 from deep, to go with four steals, three rebounds and two blocks.
Philly got the lead out to as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, but the Kings refused to lay down, getting within five points with under three minutes remaining before a hook shot and three free throws from Embiid helped seal the win.
Embiid shot 14 free throws on the night, showing a lot more aggressiveness and urgency, setting the tone for his teammates.
Tobias Harris added 14 points, Al Horford 12 and Ben Simmons recorded 10 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, encouragingly knocking down a smooth fadeaway jumper.
That'll give 'em something to talk about at the dinner table. pic.twitter.com/dReat8lhHm- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 28, 2019
For the Kings, Hrrison Barnes posted 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 points and Dewayne Demdmon 18 off the bench.