The Charlotte Hornets dropped their second-straight game to the Philadelphia 76ers last night, 110-106. It was a closely contested contest, but two things got in the way of Charlotte bringing it home - turnovers and fouls. The Hornets turned the ball over 18 times, and social media was irate at the number of calls going Philadelphia’s way.
Philadelphia shot 30 free throws on the night, with 19 of them going to Joel Embiid alone. He averages 10.6 free throws per game this season, the most of any NBA player. Head coach James Borrego commented on his dominance and the number of free throws he took after the game:
“The 19 free throws that they shot, I’ll go back and watch them. If he’s going to shoot 19, 20 free throws a night it’s going to be tough. I thought we battled our tail off against him. We did everything we could.”
Since returning on November 27, Embiid has attempted a whopping 13.7 free throws per game and has cracked double digits in all but one game. The 76ers are 3-1 this season when he attempts at least 14 free throws. With Mason Plumlee sidelined, it was even tougher on the Hornets to throw bodies at him.
In addition to the number of free throws taken by Embiid, some Hornets players weren’t too happy with the way the Sixers were flailing around. Miles Bridges accused 76ers big man Andre Drummond of flopping in his postgame presser.
“How big is he? Seven-foot, 280? It’s nothing. Nobody is ever going to fight in the NBA. The NBA is kind of like WWE. Ain’t nobody about to fight. He had his chance to do something but it’s all for entertainment.”
The incident led to the pair picking up double techs, though Bridges doesn’t seem to think anything would have come of it. He did shove Drummond in the back fairly hard, but when the Sixers center came to confront him, Bridges wasn’t having it.
Regardless, it was a tough-fought game. Browsing through Twitter, many believed that Embiid’s 19 free throws decided the game. Even Borrego alluded to this in his interview, saying that “19 free throws for Embiid, 19 turnovers for the Hornets - that’s the game.”
Charlotte is now only one game above .500 and faces night two of a back-to-back tonight. They’ll welcome the Sacramento Kings to Spectrum Center, who are riding a three-game win streak at the moment. That game is set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m.