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By Matthew Green, Sports Talk Philly Staff

After ending 2021 with a staple victory over the Brooklyn Nets on December 30th, the 76ers returned back to the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night to kickstart the new year.


The Sixers were able to begin 2022 1-0 after earning a 133-113 victory over the Houston Rockets. Despite the big margin of victory, the win did not come easy for the 76ers. 


It was a tale of two halves for Philadelphia, as they entered halftime trailing by one point to the Rockets 62-63. While the first half was not bad for the Sixers, the rust from their three days off kept the Rockets floating around.


"We did not have the focus all game," said Joel Embiid on his team's performance. "But when we did, we were great just moving the ball and playing with each other."


Philly seemed to certainly have more of that focus in the second half, as they exploded for 71 points and outscored Houston by 21. Embiid himself was the difference maker in Philadelphia picking up the win, as he was able to put up 31 points, 15 total rebounds, and 10 assists for only his third career triple-double.


While Embiid had a huge game, he was also able to receive vital production from the rest of his teammates. 


Seth Curry had a difficult start to the night, shooting an abnormal 0-6 from the field in the first half. However, Curry was able to bounce back to doing "Curry things" in the third and fourth quarters, hitting 6 of his 7 shot attempts for 15 points. 


Furkan Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe were also major contributors in this game. Both players saw an uptick in minutes with Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle both out for the night due to  health and safety protocols. 


Korkmaz was the second-leading scorer for Philadelphia on Monday night, posting 24 total points after being inserted into the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Isaiah Joe was able to provide a spark off the bench, giving his team 18 points and knocking down five threes from beyond the arc. 


Despite the Rockets' young stars keeping them in the game for the better half of it, the offensive production from the 76ers ended up being too much for them to handle. However, Houston will only have to wait one week to get another crack at Philly when they host the Sixers on January 10th for the teams' second and final meeting of the regular season.


In the meantime, the 76ers will look to continue winning here in 2022. They will travel to Orlando this Wednesday to take on the Magic, followed by a home date with the Spurs on Friday to round out the week. 


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