With another back-to-back on the schedule, the Philadelphia 76ers fired up their two-game stretch at home on Tuesday night with a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.
Shortly after defeating the Nets, the Sixers boarded a flight to North Carolina as they were set to face the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
Once again, the Sixers were shorthanded. Embiid, Maxey, Harden, Jaden Springer, and the defensive standout Matisse Thybulle were all out against Charlotte. With only two of the regular starting five available and a couple of depth guys out, the Sixers once again needed a phenomenal effort from their available roster to make it out of Charlotte with a victory.
Through the first quarter of action, the Sixers didn’t look like a team that wrapped up a game less than 24 hours prior. As a team, the Sixers drained 60 percent of their shots through the first quarter of action, with the veteran guard De’Anthony Melton continuing his efficient shooting by knocking down four of five shots and going 4-4 from the free throw line for 13 points.
The Sixers fired off 33 points and held the Hornets to 21 points through the opening quarter.
Charlotte battled back in the second quarter. Holding the Sixers to under 35 percent from the field, the Hornets outscored the Sixers 32-21 before halftime. Although the Sixers led by 13 points in the first half, that lead was cut down to one point by halftime.
In the second half, the Sixers lost total control of the lead. As Charlotte outscored Philadelphia 26-21, they entered the final quarter of action with a 79-75 lead.
The Sixers never got off track, but they certainly started to run out of steam down the stretch of the matchup. Considering they are missing a handful of guys and played in a matchup the previous night, it was evident the 76ers lacked the necessary energy to pick up another shorthanded win on Wednesday night.
While the 76ers have avoided taking moral victories throughout the season, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was satisfied with his team’s effort on Wednesday.
“I thought we played great, honestly,” said Rivers after the game. “I thought we ran out of gas.”
While the Sixers took the game down to the wire, they came up short of a victory on Wednesday. Charlotte closed out the matchup with a 107-101 win.
“I told our team I was very happy,” Rivers continued. “I don’t want to lose the game, but I loved how we played.”
With that loss, the Sixers fall to 9-9 on the year. Although they haven’t found consistency just yet, the Sixers are finding ways to survive while missing a handful of key players. While they won’t be fully healthy for quite some time, the 76ers hope to get reinforcements for Friday’s matchup in the first of two-straight matchups against the Orlando Magic.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.