The Philadelphia 76ers (33-17) got another crack at the Orlando Magic (20-32) after an embarrassing loss on Monday. This time around, the Sixers clamped down on defense and took home a 105-94 win.

Let’s break down the Sixers’ win over the Magic.

Sixers player notes:

Joel Embiid: 28 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, FG shooting

Embiid didn’t start out with the flashiest plays but he was still very good. He scored at will, tallied 16 points in the first quarter, rebounded very well and locked things down on defense with good contests. The Sixers absolutely dominated in the minutes he played and despite no fourth-quarter points, he had a very strong performance.

James Harden: 26 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists, 7-13 FG shooting

Harden was wheeling and dealing early on, as he was responsible for each of the Sixers’ first five buckets in his typical dual-threat fashion. He threw some bad, sloppy passes in the second and third quarters but came through with some huge buckets and dimes in the second half after a so-so first half.

Tyrese Maxey: 10 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2-11 FG shooting

It was another night of Maxey not having a real imprint on the game. He attacked the basket with no fear and converted his shots at the charity stripe but didn’t hit a field goal until the fourth quarter.

Tobias Harris: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 7-10 FG shooting

Harris’ efficient scoring was a big boost for the Sixers, as was his impactful playmaking. Although he had his fair share of ugly sequences, he made a lot of good plays and played a big part in the win.

Magic player notes:

Markelle Fultz: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 7-12 FG shooting

Fultz once again came to play in the city he used to call home. This time, he shot way, way better from the field (scoring at will in the paint with some nifty moves) and still provided tough defense. Although he didn’t get the win this time, he made an impression in his return to Philly.

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Paolo Banchero: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 5-18 FG shooting

Banchero, the headliner of a young forward duo that Doc Rivers was very complimentary of before the game, once again had little issue getting downhill to the hoop, especially in transition. He also whipped passes to teammates with impressive accuracy and zip. However, he struggled from three-point land and couldn’t keep his hot shooting going into the second half.

Franz Wagner: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 6-15 FG shooting

Wagner once again started off slowly and got going more and more as the game went on. He did a good job of breaking down the Sixers’ defense while making plays on the other end, too. Like Banchero, though, he had a horrible night from beyond the arc.

Jalen Suggs: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, 4-9 FG shooting

Suggs’ impact off the bench was big for Orlando. He was a hound on defense, as evidenced by his career-high mark in steals, and had a great shooting night.

Game notes:

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

Jesse Cinquini ·

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Jesse Cinquini ·

1st half

  • On Monday, the Sixers got off to a great start while no one outside of Fultz could hit a shot. That wasn’t the case in this one as each squad got off to mediocre starts offensively. Philly’s defense started allowing penetration from the perimeter and the Magic took advantage with both drives to the hoop and kickouts to Gary Harris, who made three triples in as many attempts.
  • The Magic started showing Embiid double teams early on and he responded well. He flung a great crosscourt pass to Tobias Harris in the opposite corner (which he took in for a close shot) and worked quickly to score when the second defender came over.
  • An Embiid-led bench unit got really going as the big fella went right through Moe Wagner to score (or draw a foul) and got some help from Shake Milton. The Magic put Bol Bol in to serve as a weak-side help defender and it didn’t help much. Embiid and Milton linked up for a gorgeous fast-break bucket to end the first quarter and put Philly up by 14 thanks to aa 17-0 run.
  • After just a few minutes of Montrezl Harrell playing and the Magic bench starting to cut down the deficit, Paul Reed subbed in. He didn’t do much with his minutes besides providing some physicality down low. (Both of the bigs’ struggles showcased why the Sixers are looking into upgrading at that spot ahead of the trade deadline.) Meanwhile, Cole Anthony helped lead a strong Orlando effort, even as a few of the starters shuffled back into the game.
  • The Sixers led 56-53 at the break.

2nd half

  • While the Magic kept attacking the basket, Harden and Embiid got to work, combining to score Philly’s first 15 points of the second half. Wendell Carter Jr. made life tough on Embiid on the glass, though. His athleticism and pin-point timing put him in position to get offensive boards and second-chance points.
  • The Sixers started to push their lead near the end of the third quarter but the Magic, perhaps ignited by a sequence where Jalen Suggs ripped away a rebound from Embiid and scored an and-one, kept on fighting.
  • Anthony spoiled a spectacular outlet pass from Niang to Maxey with a chase-down block, sending the Magic bench into a frenzy, but Orlando couldn’t tie things up. Some huge fourth-quarter triples from Maxey (his first field goal of the game after six misses) and Niang helped the Sixers go up by 13 with six minutes left.
  • Embiid checked into the game with a 10-point lead after Wagner hit his first three of the night. He threw two huge dimes (one to Harden on a triple, one to Maxey in the fast break) but surprisingly didn’t do any scoring. Still, the Sixers got back in the win column.

Random thoughts:

  • Terrence Ross is apparently not to be chirped at during pregame warm-ups unless you want to be proven wrong about an issue in his jumper.
  • Watching Shake take contested layups in transition is lots of fun. His creativity and ability to get up good looks continue to shine when he gets those opportunities.
  • Wells Fargo played the instrumental to “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa during the game. I must have missed it if they played it previously. Play it more, please!
  • Georges Niang chirped with the opposing team’s star player. Drink.

The Sixers will begin a three-game road trip on Friday night against old friend Brett Brown and the San Antonio Spurs.