PHILADELPHIA -- The actual outcome of Saturday night's matchup between the 76ers and Detroit Pistons at Wells Fargo Center was a cliff note.
The individual matchup between Joel Embiid and the Pistons' Andre Drummond was the actual story in the Sixers' 108-103 victory.
The two centers had been in a war of words since Drummond started trash talking to Embiid in their Oct. 23 meeting on Detroit. They basically played to a standstill.
Embiid finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and six turnovers en route to his sixth straight double-double and 12th of the season. However, he made just 7 of his 21 shots. Fifteen of his points came in the first half when Drummond wasn't effective at all. But Drummond woke up in the fourth quarter, scoring 6 of his 14 points before Embiid fouled him out with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left. Drummond also had 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals.
The Sixers big man waved goodbye to Drummond at the foul line before attempting his shots. He made both to put his squad up, 100-95. Then Dario Saric added a 3-pointer to extend the Sixers' lead to eight (103-95) with 1:40 to play.
Then after Detroit trimmed the lead to three, JJ Redick hit a pair of foul shots to give the Sixers a 108-105 advantage with 6.0 seconds remaining. The Pistons (14-8) turned the ball over on the ensuing possession. Then the Sixers (13-9) ran the final seconds off the clock.
Sixers rookie Ben Simmons finished with five points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and four turnovers, and Robert Covington broke out of his shooting slump with 25 points while making 6 of 13 3-pointers.
Pistons forward Tobias Harris led all scorers with 27 points.
But the focus was on Embiid and Drummond.
After scoring 30 points the first game, Embiid said he used Drummond's trash talking in that game as motivation.