NBA Hoops

Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 4th quarter a big reason Sixers beat Thunder

Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 4th quarter a big reason Sixers beat Thunder

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers looked a bit off on Tuesday night. They welcomed Joel Embiid back to the lineup as they took on the Oklahoma City Thunder, and their offense was up and down through three quarters.

With Embiid on the bench and the Sixers trailing by seven to start the fourth, the Sixers needed somebody to give them offense.

That somebody was Kelly Oubre Jr. After struggling through the first three quarters, Oubre stepped up big time in the fourth. He scored 17 points in the final 12 minutes. He shot 6-for-7 from the floor, including 4-for-4 from deep, in a 109-105 win over the Thunder.

“I think our offense was like super clunky tonight, right?” said coach Nick Nurse after the win. “Just super clunky and he just kind of fired a couple and nailed them. We were kind of like really needing some kind of boost and he just kind of rolled into a couple in a row and then all of a sudden he’s going.”

The Sixers looked a bit up and down while trying to reintegrate Embiid into the offense. Philadelphia shot 44.8% through the first three quarters and 50% in the fourth. As helpful as Embiid was, the Sixers probably don’t win this game without Oubre going off in the fourth.

“I just think this spacing,” Oubre said of his fourth quarter. “We were kind of catching a good rhythm when Jo checked back into the game and, obviously, he demands a lot of attention and the space was there and I just was trying to be aggressive obviously and then it kind of worked out in our favor towards we caught a rhythm. We caught that momentum toward the end of the game and Jo closed us out.”

This will be a work in progress for the Sixers. Embiid has to find chemistry with the new guys, and Oubre needs to make sure Embiid gets the ball while also getting his own shots.

“We put the ball in his hands late,” Nurse added. “Again, I think we’re still trying to figure out all this stuff and he’s one guy that can turn the corner and put a lot of pressure on the rim. So they’re gonna have to decide — if Joel will set a good screen — they’re gonna have to decide how they’re going to play him, right? We ended up hitting Joel in the roll most of it which turned out OK, too. I think there was some other plays to be made, but again, just everything’s just a little off and a little clunky offensively.”

The Sixers will face the Miami Heat on the road on Thursday.

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