A game-by-game overview of Sixers' challenging road trip


The 29-13 Sixers’ six-game road trip begins Sunday night in New York against the 21-21 Knicks.

Joel Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and Seth Curry (left ankle sprain) won’t play, while Ben Simmons is available after missing Saturday's game with left knee soreness.

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson will play. He had surgery on his right hand last month and had been sidelined since Feb. 12. Immanuel Quickley is available after having been listed as questionable with left ankle soreness, and guards Elfrid Payton (right hamstring strain), Derrick Rose and Austin Rivers (health and safety protocols) are out.  

Here are the essentials for Sunday’s game:

  • When: 8 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 7 p.m. 
  • Where: Madison Square Garden 
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia  
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Game-by-game overview of Sixers’ trip 

Tobias Harris and Rivers sent the pregame message that the Kings game was the first of the Sixers’ road trip, but it officially begins Sunday night. Here’s a look at the five other games on the trip:

Tuesday, March 23 at 22-21 Warriors: A Steph Curry vs. Seth Curry matchup would be great to watch, although it’s unclear if it will happen. The Sixers’ top three-point shooter will be evaluated after his team plays the Knicks, while Golden State’s two-time MVP has missed the last two games with a tailbone contusion. According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, James Wiseman and Villanova product Eric Paschall will be sidelined through Tuesday because of health and safety protocols. 

Thursday, March 25 at 28-14 Lakers: Harris won it for the Sixers the first time these teams played with a buzzer-beating jumper after the Sixers squandered a late lead. It looks like neither of the Lakers’ stars will be available after LeBron James suffered a high right ankle sprain. Anthony Davis continues to rehab from Achilles tendinosis. The NBA trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET Thursday.

Saturday, March 27 at 27-16 Clippers: Shake Milton’s career-high 39 points the last time the Sixers played the Clippers left an impression on Rivers. This will be Rivers' first game against his former team. 

Tuesday, March 30 at 25-16 Nuggets: If Embiid is back in the lineup, it could be a marquee matchup between himself and Nikola Jokic, two of the league’s best big men. The first Sixers-Nuggets game this season was that farcical Denver win on Jan. 9 when the Sixers only had seven healthy players. 

Thursday, April 1 at 15-26 Cavaliers: The Cavs have the worst record of any team on the trip, but the Sixers will be wary. The Sixers are 0-2 against Cleveland, and their overtime loss to a shorthanded Cavs team last month was a bitter one. 

Sharpening the execution 

The Sixers haven't had many chances to rest or hold full practices in this condensed season.

They were able to do both in between their loss Wednesday to the Bucks and win Saturday over Sacramento. Rivers was particularly glad that the team focused on offensive execution, drilling concepts that were applicable regardless of who was healthy. To Rivers, “dancing” around with the ball isn’t acceptable.

Through the first three quarters Saturday night, the Sixers shot 59.7 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from three-point range.

“That, to me, is who we have to be,” Rivers said. “Quick decisions, straight-line drives, pass to the open man.”

Knicks wouldn’t mind winning ugly 

The Sixers’ comeback win Tuesday over New York was their only game this season in which both teams scored under 100 points. 

The Knicks have had five such games, including a 94-93 victory Thursday against the Magic. They should be motivated and well-rested as they look to grind out another win.

Robinson's return is a big story for New York. He was the Knicks’ starting center through their first 27 games and could trouble the Sixers’ drivers with his excellent athleticism and length. Nerlens Noel has averaged 6.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals since replacing Robinson in the Knicks’ starting lineup. 

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