Joel Embiid crushed Nikola Jokic in the clash of the titans!
The clash of the titans between Sixers of Joel Embiid and the nuggets of Nikola Jokic fulfilled all its promises. We imagine Embiid is determined to show his worth after the spades he was dealt by his role model, Hakeem Olajuwon, and his failure to host the next All-Star Game. The pivot of Philadelphia therefore showed his detractors what he was capable of by destroying his counterpart denverdouble MVP title, in the second half.
The first quarter quickly shed light on the match of the night, with an aggressive Joel Embiid (14 points on 10 attempts) despite his 0/3 on free throws to start. For his part, Nikola Jokic did Nikola Jokic, outshining his teammates from the racket head and also relying on Michael Porter Jr.’s outside address. (3/4 from 3-pointers) to allow the Nuggets to race ahead (29 -38).
The Nuggets rallied after the break
The release of the “Joker” rebalanced the debates and Philly took the opportunity to take -2, thanks to the outside address of the pair Tyrese Maxey / Georges Niang (42-44). Denver found a way to finish stronger, with Nikola Jokic coming back to score 8 straight points, a 3-pointer off the board by Michael Porter Jr. and an acrobatic finish from Jamal Murray (55-66). The gap finally climbed to +15 at the break after an outside missile from Murray and an “alley-oop” finished by Aaron Gordon (58-73).
Returning from the locker room, the rivalry of the titans favored Joel Embiid on both sides of the floor, with deterrence and rebounding on defense, efficiency to feed the 8-0 and an assist for De’Anthony Melton, to bring the Sixers down to -5 (79-84). In a one-on-one in isolation, Embiid surprised Jokic to finish with a dunk and ignite the fans (84-90).
Joel Embiid makes the show
Then the Nuggets took advantage of four consecutive errors from Philadelphia, including two from Tyrese Maxey and his feet in the line, to go back to +15 on a 3-pointer from Bruce Brown (84-99). But Doc Rivers’ men quickly caught up by ending the third period with a 12-0 run by Georges Niang from long range and a released Joel Embiid (96-99).
The Philly players continued their offensive with two 3-point baskets from Georges Niang and Tobias Harris, then another face-to-face that Embiid won in front of Nikola Jokic, to tie it at 108-108. As a symbol, it was with a new burst of brilliance from “JoJo”, author of a counter and ending the move, that Philadelphia finally took the advantage (112-110).
A perfect “pick-and-pop” executed with James Harden allowed the superstar pivot to drive home 3-pointers in stride. Then Joel Embiid found Tobias Harris in the corner to add three more points (118-110). To fend off Denver’s latest onslaught, it was the Sixers’ “go-to-guy” again who delivered his team’s final 3-pointer to secure the win, winning 30 seconds later by a score of 126. to 119 .
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Joel Embiid’s dominance over Nikola Jokic. The Sixers’ pivot showed his superiority remarkably in the second half. He won nearly every one of his one-on-ones with the reigning two-time MVP. His decisive baskets from long range were the final touches to an extraordinary performance after the break. That’s all it took to knock off a Denver team that was still tough.
– Six self-sacrifices. The game changed in the third quarter, when the uprising of Doc Rivers troops showed itself in two runs, one 8-0 and one 12-0, to start and end the period. From -15, the locals thus returned to -3 at the start of the final action with full confidence and a Joel Embiid also appeared strengthened in his beliefs. The balance of power then changed and Philadelphia managed to keep their hands until the end.
✅ Joel Embiid. The Philadelphia pivot sent a message to the entire league about this long-awaited showdown with Nikola Jokic. Dominant on both sides of the floor, he was close to perfection in the second half and took advantage of many of his matchups with the Serb to showcase his power.
✅ James Harden. The match of the perfect lieutenant, with a responsible shot selection (5/10, including 3/6 from 3-pointers) and rather effective, 13 assists and above all no lost balls.
✅ Tobias Harris. There is no doubt that the X factor of this match, especially regarding its first half, ended with zero points. He regained his aggressiveness when he returned from the locker room and ended up scoring some decisive baskets, including an interception that allowed Tyrese Maxey to add two crucial points in transition.
⛔️ Nikola Jokic. 24 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, but overall Joel Embiid dominates in this duel of titans, with the added bonus of 7 lost balls, some of which are detrimental to “money time”. Blame it on Doc Rivers’ adjustment, sticking PJ Tucker on his back…
Philadelphia (32-16) : the Sixers will try to continue their seven-game winning streak when they host Orlando this Monday (01:00).
Denver (34-16) : the Nuggets will host the Pelicans this Tuesday (04:00).