Sixers aim to keep rolling at home vs. Hornets

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their third consecutive victory when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

The Sixers won for the fourth time in five games in resounding fashion on Thursday, thumping the host Orlando Magic 116-92.

Joel Embiid had 21 points and nine rebounds, Seth Curry scored 21 points and Tobias Harris added 20 points and nine rebounds. Since the game was so out of reach, the Sixers' starters rested for the majority of the second half.

Philadelphia appears to be picking up new head coach Doc Rivers' up-tempo system very quickly.

The pace begins with Ben Simmons, who has been oft-criticized for his lack of willingness to shoot from the perimeter. However, Simmons dropped in a rare 3-pointer against the Magic and the bench erupted. It was first lone long-range attempt of the season.

"I could care less," Rivers said of whether Simmons takes outside shots. "I'll let you guys talk about what Ben doesn't do. I just want Ben to keep playing great defense, running our team and winning games."

In addition to the starters producing against the Magic, the Sixers also received a huge lift from their bench, highlighted by Shake Milton (14 points), Tyrese Maxey (10) and Matisse Thybulle (nine). Thybulle failed to score in each of the first four games but took advantage of added playing time with Furkan Korkmaz sidelined due to an adductor injury.

"He's going to be a key factor -- we've been telling him that from the beginning," Rivers said of Thybulle. "Matisse is going to be a key player for this basketball team. Defensively in the second half he was phenomenal."

The new-look Hornets, who had been steadily improving, were drubbed 108-93 by the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

The Hornets did place five players in double figures, but the game was decided relatively early.

Bismack Biyombo led Charlotte with 16 points. Rookie LaMelo Ball added 15, Caleb Martin and Gordon Hayward had 14 each, and P.J. Washington scored 10.

Charlotte struggled with its long-distance shooting, going 9 of 31 (29 percent) from beyond the arc.

Despite the loss, head coach James Borrego has been pleased with the team's progress.

"For us it's just about building and growing," Borrego said. "We didn't have the best training camp. There's a lot of factors there, but I believe now we have found our footing."

That especially applies to Ball, the No. 3 overall pick by the Hornets in the 2020 draft. Ball also contributed six assists, three rebounds and two steals while continuing to show why the franchise selected him.

"He's growing up right before our eyes," teammate Miles Bridges said of Ball. "As long as he's playing his game and having fun, we just want to focus on the defensive end."

Ball has been a spark of the bench, but after the loss to the Grizzlies, Borrego was asked about shifting his rookie into the starting lineup.

"That's one area I've got to continue to look at and look at it hard," he said. "That's not the only one, but I'll continue to look at that area."

--Field Level Media