By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Sixers would take the court Tuesday night looking to extend their winning streak to six games. They would host Julius Randle and the New York Knicks in the first leg of a back-to-back.
Things would not go the Sixers' way for most of this game, but they would still find a way to hang on. After some big defensive stops and late-game heroics from Tobias Harris, the Sixers would walk away with a 99-96 victory.
Here are some takeaways from the matchup.
Seth Curry returning to form
Seth Curry started this season scorching hot shooting the ball for the Sixers. But after coming down with Covid, he hasn't looked the same. It is starting to look like all he needed was some extra rest. In the four games to start to the second half of the season, he has started to look like his old self again.
He would be the team's second-leading scorer in last night's win over the Knicks. Scoring 20 points on solid 7-14 shooting. Most importantly, Curry stepped out and hit four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.
Getting Curry back to his regular self is going to be crucial as the team looks to stay afloat without Embiid. After seeing the way he stepped up and hit big shots against the Knicks, he looks ready to help Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris lead the charge for the coming weeks.
Dwight Howard turning back time
Dwight Howard is another Sixers who has had some up-and-down play this season as well. Since Embiid has gone down, Howard has shown why signing him at the veteran's minimum was looked at as a steal.
In this recent run, Howard has been able to turn back the clock with some extended minutes. He picked up another double-double against the Knicks, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Howard is not the same level of rim protector as Embiid, but he has reminded everyone why he was a top player at the position earlier in his career. In the guts of the game, he would block a Julius Randle dunk attempt in a play that would help shift the momentum back in the Sixers' favor.
Having a vet like Howard has been a great fallback option for the Sixers in their current situation. He keeps himself ready for anything on a nightly basis and has helped hold down the center minutes in Embiid's absence.
Tobias Harris: "I'm an All-Star"
The Tobias Harris revenge tour continued Tuesday night against the Knicks. It might have had to do with All-Star Julius Randle being on the opposing team, but Harris continues to make his statement of being one of the biggest snubs this season.
After a slow start from the Sixers offensively, Harris would take it upon himself to get things started. He would go on to score a game-high 30 points, hitting 11 of his 20 field goal attempts and knocking down four shots from beyond the arc.
Harris has been the go-to guy for the Sixers late in games, and the same would happen last night. He would hit multiple shots in the closing minutes to help seal this victory for the Sixers.
His biggest moment of the night would be when he hit a post fadeaway over Reggie Bullock to extend the Sixers' lead to four in the final two minutes. Harris then turned to the home crowd yelling "I'm an All-Star."
Not being named an All-Star has lit a fire under Harris. He has played like a man determined to silence all of his doubters.