Philadelphia 76ers came up short against Nik Stauskas and Evan Turner

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

In only the team’s second game of the year without Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers got blown out by Evan Turner, Nik Stauskas and the Portland Trail Blazers.

On a night of historic highs, mainly the Philadelphia Eagles earning a surprise playoff berth thanks to a major win over the Washington Redskins and a massive breakdown by the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia 76ers offered up a horrendous nightcap to the evening.

While it certainly seemed like a longshot that the Sixers could pull out a road win against over the Portland Trail Blazers when news broke that Joel Embiid would miss the game, only his second of the season, did anyone really foresee a, well, this?

Now granted, up to this point it’s been abundantly clear that the Sixers need to get gigantic performances out of their starting five to remain in even the most mundane game, as their bench is among the least effective in the entire league, but are they really 129-95 blowout bad?

Apparently so.

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Honestly, even Embiid’s typical stat line, 26.5 points and 11 rebounds wouldn’t have been enough to pull this particular iteration of Brett Brown‘s 76ers squad out of the hole they dug themselves, and that’s saying something.

Sigh, but how did this happen again? Sure, losing a player like Embiid would be hard to overcome for any team, but the potent pairing of Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler still should have been able to give Portland a run for their money, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

As we’ve all seen dozens of times at this point in the season (which is really saying something since the team has only played 37 games) the 76ers just couldn’t find a way to stop Portland’s dynamic guard duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combined for 50 of the Blazers’ 129 points.

But it wasn’t just the Blazers’ starting backcourt that got in on the action at the Moda Center, no, while almost everything was going wrong for the boys from Philly, Portland’s entire seemingly found a way to get involved in the action.

Even players like Evan Turner and Nik Stauskas, a pair of Philly castaway synonymous with a bygone era of Sixers basketball cashed in on a slew of up for grabs minutes, scoring eight and six points respectively in 37 combined minutes of action.

While it’s never fun to lose any game in the NBA, losing to Evan Turner with Ben Simmons on the court? That’s one tough pill to swallow.

Sure, there were some bright spots in the game, like an outpouring of scoring from the bench, including double-digit performances from Furkan Korkmaz, two-way contract point guard Demetrius Jackson, and T.J. McConnell, who’s been playing out of his mind this month, but most of those points came in garbage time, after the game had already been decided.

No, this was a total team loss in every possible way, as no one really stepped up to take command with Embiid sidelined with a sore knee. While Simmons has continued to play well after a Christmas day shellacking by the Boston Celtics, Butler’s current slump continued on in the Pacific North West, where he only put up five points on 12 shots with no real end in sight.

Next. The Philadelphia 76ers need to start Markelle Fultz… wait, what?. dark

But hey, at least the Philadelphia Eagles are going to the playoffs, right? That sort of makes up for this embarrassing loss, right? Joel Embiid, please get well soon; your team clearly can’t win without you.