The Philadelphia 76ers' current road stretch hasn't been easy. After the Sixers dropped three-straight games at home before embarking on the six-game road trip, Philly went ahead and lost two more games, making it five in a row.
Finally, the Sixers found a way to garner a victory over the Denver Nuggets last Thursday. Looking to build on top of an unlikely comfortable win, the Sixers went into Portland on Saturday to face the Trail Blazers for the second time this year.
However, they didn't have success that time around. With a loss in Portland, the Sixers dropped their sixth game in seven matchups. While the strength of the opponent got easier on Monday night as the Sixers visited the 6-11 Sacramento Kings, their situation was far from ideal.
Without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Danny Green, and Seth Curry, the Sixers trotted out a starting lineup containing just one regular in Tyrese Maxey. Although it seemed the Sixers wouldn't have enough to pull off a victory on the road while missing a majority of their key contributors, they managed to get it done.
By knocking off the Kings 102-94, the Sixers picked up their 10th win of the year. They still have a long way to go in terms of getting healthy before they close out their current road stretch, but the Sixers can head into Golden State Wednesday with some momentum as their young reserves picked up an encouraging victory.
But before they get to Golden State, let's observe the individual performances from the 76ers on Monday night.
In his second game back since self-isolating in the NBA's health and safety protocol, Thybulle had his best all-around performance on Monday. Defensively, he was a problem as he picked up three steals and a block. Offensively, Thybulle was effective and efficient as he drained all but two of his eight shots from the field for 15 points. That's now back-to-back games where Thybulle looked much improved on the offensive side of the ball.
In his third-straight start, Niang had to be one of the reliable veterans on the floor Monday night as the team missed so many seasoned players. Shooting-wise, he struggled overall as he went 4-13 from the field. However, Niang was efficient when it counted, as half of his total scoring production came in the fourth quarter. In the end, he finished the night with 12 points.
He was one point shy of notching a double-double, but Drummond deserves a lot of credit for the Sixers' ability to pull off such a win. While he's been quiet in the rebounding department lately, the big man reminded everybody just how dominant he could be down low as he collected 23 rebounds in 31 minutes. Ten of those rebounds came in the final ten minutes of action. The Sixers simply don't win that game without Drummond on the floor on Monday.
With the team shorthanded, Korkmaz picked up his fifth start of the year on Monday. While his 11-point night is one of his better performances in recent times, expectations haven't necessarily been high for Korkmaz lately. His cold spell still exists as he went 4-10 from the field and missed three of his four free-throw attempts.
The young guard wasn't all that efficient on the offensive end, but he scored consistently enough to keep the Sixers around when they looked down and out and helped them pick up an unlikely win. Maxey finished the game with a team-high of 24 points, four assists, two steals, and zero turnovers. Once again, the former first-round pick proved he belongs in the NBA as a starting point guard.
He hit some big shots for the Sixers on Monday night. In 36 minutes, Milton collected 16 points on 50-percent shooting from the field. He might've slowed down a bit as the game progressed after a strong start, but once the fourth quarter rolled around, Milton finished strong during his final 12 minutes of action.
Lately, Reed's fallen out of favor with Doc Rivers. But on Monday night, Rivers had no choice but to give the second-year power forward/center some burn. Reed picked up six minutes against Sacramento. He had a quiet night, for the most part, and didn't really make a case to earn more playing time moving forward.
As the rookie continues to progress and the Sixers continue to enter situations shorthanded, Bassey has seen his playing time slowly but steadily increase. Against the Kings, he nearly picked up a 15-minute shift. He had a solid night in the rebounding game as he collected seven boards. It wasn't his strongest performance, but Bassey continues to look like a decent late pickup in this year's draft.
The sharpshooter hasn't been so sharp to start the season. But that hasn't prevented Joe from taking chances whenever he's on the floor. On Monday night, he chucked up eight total shots, with six of them coming from beyond the arc. He only hit on two of his deep shots, but his constant willingness to take advantage of opportunities to shoot when he's open is an encouraging sign as the young guard clearly doesn't get rattled when the shots aren't falling.