The 76ers (7-1) have won seven straight, sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings headed into a two-game set with the Indiana Pacers (6-3).
The Sixers return home for the series, after winning their first In-Season Tournament game Friday in Detroit. The second of the two meetings with Indiana – both to be played in South Philadelphia on Sunday and Tuesday – will also count towards the In-Season Tournament.
While the Sixers trailed by as many as 16 in the first half versus Detroit, the team rallied in the second half to notch a 114-106 victory, fueled by an impressive third quarter in which the team took a 35-21 advantage over the Pistons .
“I do like if this is a characteristic we have – and it seems like we have it – I like how well we play in the second half,” Nick Nurse said following the win. It seems like we really come out and play the third and fourth quarters at a different level.”
After yet another standout performance in Detroit, Tyrese Maxey and the Tyrese Maxey Foundation were up early Saturday in North Philadelphia, hosting Maxey’s annual Turkey Drive.
“It means everything to me,” Maxey said at Saturday’s event. “As long as I see people smile, as long as I see people have joy, I’m happy.”
This year’s Turkey Drive fed over 1,000 families, provided with a Turkey, sides, and snacks, for a family of 6-8 people.
Maxey hopes that as his star rises on the court, his work in the community will grow simultaneously:
“It goes hand in hand. As long as I keep succeeding on the court, I can do things like this. That’s what makes us happy.”
Nurse was proud of Maxey’s pre-practice morning initiative:
“His personality is unbelievable. His character, family, all that stuff – is top shelf. Two things, I think are important – That these guys impact the communities where they’re from, and try to impact the communities where they’re playing. I think he does both of those things.”
The Pacers (6-3) occupy the No. 3 spot in the East as of Saturday.
All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 23.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 11.6 assists in the early season.
The Pacers won their most recent matchup, a 126-124 win over Milwaukee. Haliburton led the Pacers to victory, finishing with a 29-point, 10-assist double-double, helping his team overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 54-point night.
Sunday’s matchup is a 6:00 pm ET tip.
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Sixers are expected to wear their white Association Edition uniforms, while the Pacers will wear their Icon Edition navy blue uniforms.
FRIDAY’S KEY PERFORMANCES
- Embiid finished with a game-high 33 points, plus 16 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He shot 16-for-19 at the foul line in 36 minutes of play.
- Maxey notched a 29-point, 11-assist double-double, plus six rebounds and three steals. He got to the foul line nine times, making all nine shots.
- Harris tallied 24 points, five rebounds, and two assists in 38 minutes, shooting an efficient 8-for-15 from the field, 2-for-3 from deep, and 6-for-6 from the foul line.
Nick Nurse on his team’s comeback victory Friday:
“I think it speaks a little bit to our composure. That’s the word I’d use. We don’t ever look like we’re too frantic about trying to find our next player, or our next shot, or our next action. We were getting beat in every phase of the game for a good stretch and we just hung in there.”