PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers’ seven-game win streak was snapped by an old friend: Markelle Fultz. He helped lead the Orlando Magic to a comeback win over Joel Embiid and the Sixers in his first-ever game as a visitor in the Wells Fargo Center.
Fultz shot just 4-14 from the field but was super impactful on defense and dished 10 assists with no turnovers. Paolo Banchero led the way for the Magic with 29 points but Fultz’s energy was huge. Embiid sounded off on his former teammate and shared his thoughts on the midseason trade in 2019 that sent Fultz to the Magic.
“I’ve always been a big fan and I talk to him and when we did trade him, I was disappointed because I felt like we had given up on him too early,” Embiid said after the Sixers loss. “Even back then, even without a jump shot, I still thought he was an amazing talent just because he’s so quick. I know he’s a great playmaker. He gets guys easy shots. There’s a reason why they’re a good team. Obviously, they drafted a great rookie who’s gonna be a really good player in this league but I think everything else, it runs through Markelle. They’re better than what their record says and they wouldn’t be there without the impact that he has.”
Although the Sixers did give up quickly on Fultz, trading him in just his second season, the draft pick they got in exchange for him ended up being used on Tyrese Maxey, so it’s safe to say that they came out as the clear winners of the deal. Fultz has struggled with numerous injuries over his career but has persisted and remains a solid player for a tough, young squad on the rise.
Fultz received boos from the Sixers crowd but ultimately turned those boos back onto the Sixers after the Magic came back to win. Embiid stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks but it wasn’t enough.