The Philadelphia 76ers (21-14) closed out 2022 with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-21). The Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak on a wire-to-wire victory by a score of 115-96.

Let's break down the Sixers and Thunder's New Year's Eve bash.

Sixers player analysis:

Joel Embiid: 16 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 blocks, 6-17 FG shooting

The young, skinny and lean Thunder squad seemed like mincemeat Embiid. He could have gone for the easiest 50-burger of his life and probably reach 70 if he wanted. Instead, he let his other teammates do most of the cooking and recorded his first triple-double of the season and the fifth of his career. Even with his season-high in dimes and strong performance on defense, he was obviously doing a bit of coasting, which he earned the right to do.

Tobias Harris: 23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-17 FG shooting

Harris powered the Sixers' offense to start the game with some tough buckets in the paint. He had it going early and kept it going throughout the first half, getting into the paint with gusto and capping off his great first half (16 points on 7-7 shooting) with a slam. The energy remained in the second half and he hit the key shot that got Embiid his triple-double.

De'Anthony Melton: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 7-13 FG shooting

Mr. Do Something got to work right away with lots of things — seven points, three assists, two boards and two blocks in the opening frame. His activity was on full display, as he defended and rebounded with energy and wasn't afraid to attack downhill on offense. The highlights of his nights were some emphatic blocks from behind the shooter and some nifty finishes at the hoop.

Shake Milton: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 7-14 FG shooting

Milton, an Oklahoma native, jumped right back into the starting lineup and scored nine points on 4-6 shooting in the first quarter. His scoring, playmaking and ability to push the tempo were key for the Sixers. Even though the opponent wasn't a very good one, it's still great to see Milton be able to get right back into the starting lineup and do well.

Thunder player analysis:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4-15 FG shooting

The Thunder's budding superstar asserted his dominance with a big dunk over Danuel House Jr. He cooked the Sixers' bench unit early on but didn't have the kind of night you would expect from a superstar. The Philly defense took care of him and it was a key reason why this contest never felt close.

Josh Giddey: 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-15 FG shooting

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Giddey scored the Thunder's first six points of the night. He scored in numerous ways, including on some second-chance opportunities off of rebounds. With SGA having a poor shooting night, Giddey's efforts were critical for Oklahoma City. Although his strong playmaking abilities weren't fully on display, he had a very solid game.

Isaiah Joe: 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3-5 FG shooting

One of the young Sixers that got away, Joe was one of the Thunder's first substitutions. He immediately drew an offensive foul on Embiid as they fought for position in the post but didn't do much else in the first half. In the second, he hit some triples and played some feisty defense.

Jalen Williams: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 6-10 FG shooting

Williams had himself a nice night. He scored very efficiently, showed versatility and value on defense and was one of the few Thunder players who looked like they truly belonged on the court with a playoff contender.

Game notes:

1st half:

  • P.J. Tucker missed his first game of the season/as a member of the Sixers. James Harden and Tyrese Maxey also got the night off.
  • The Sixers got started with as good of a well-rounded effort as a team can have. Each starter got a shot before any of them took a second one and made them all. Each of them was assisted, too. They took a 20-6 lead after four and a half minutes, making eight of their 10 shots.
  • Matisse Thybulle started and handled the SGA assignment pretty decently. He committed a foul on him early on but used his length and aggressiveness to deny him looks at scoring.
  • The Sixers owned the glass on both ends of the floor. Embiid led the charge, though it didn't take much against a team with such a lack of size.
  • Milton and Giddey each led bench-heavy units to start the second quarter and the Sixers opened it up on a 10-2 run.
  • The Sixers led at halftime by a score of 69-43, thanks largely to scoring 40 points in the paint.

2nd half:

  • The Sixers got off to a bit of a sluggish start to the second half, allowing the Thunder to chip away at the deficit. Doc Rivers called a timeout as Philly led by 20 with nine minutes to go in the third quarter. OKC pushed the pace and put in the work on defense but it wasn't enough to even make it somewhat close.
  • Embiid got into some dime-tossing in the third quarter. He lost the ball a few times but still had a solid impact on offense by finding his teammates open.
  • Melton had one of the best sequences of the night with a block, a triple and then a layup on the following offensive possession. With all the incentives in the world to not go too hard tonight, he played one of the most complete games of the season for any Sixers player.
  • Embiid checked into the fourth quarter despite the Sixers holding an 18-point lead. He helped push the lead further, got his triple-double and got out of there.

Stray thoughts:

  • This game was set up to be the ultimate trap game but the Sixers took care of business. It ain't much, but it's honest work.
  • Embiid passed Andre Iguodala on the Sixers' all-time scoring list. He now sits in ninth place, roughly 1,000 points away from the next player, Mo Cheeks.
  • Keep an eye on Jalen Williams. He will be a key player for the Thunder the next time they're a playoff contender.
  • If you took time out of your New Year's Eve or Day to read this breakdown, you are a certified basketball/Sixers sicko and I am extremely grateful for you. Here's to a great 2023!

The Sixers' first taste of action in 2023 will be back at home. They'll get another crack at the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.