Sixers-Pelicans 5 Things: Sixers Go for 3rd in a Row Over New Orleans

The Sixers (7-20) close out their four-game homestand when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans (9-20) at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night (7 p.m./CSN, and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Making his mark
With the Sixers' center situation in a bit of disarray, Joel Embiid reminded everyone exactly what type of talent the team has in the frontcourt.

Embiid recorded a career-high 33 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in the Sixers' 108-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

With Nerlens Noel officially removed from the regular rotation (although somehow not benched), Embiid seemed more settled and able to dominate.

Now the rookie center gets another crack at All-Star Anthony Davis. The two matched up only sparingly in the season's first meeting earlier this month as Davis — the NBA's second-leading scorer — posted 26 points and 11 rebounds in 41 minutes.

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Embiid totaled 14 points, seven boards, four blocks and three steals in 27 minutes as the Sixers walked away with a 99-88 win.

With Jahlil Okafor now set in the starting lineup and likely matched up with Pelicans big man Omer Asik, we should get plenty of a juicy Embiid-Davis battle Tuesday night.

2. It's the most wonderful time of the year 
Ersan Ilyasova has found some new life to his game since the calendar flipped to December. 

In nine games this month, Ilyasova has averaged 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.0 minutes per game. Even with his shooting numbers down across the board in December (44.4 percent field goals, 32.8 percent three-pointers and 74.1 percent free throws), the veteran forward has still been able to increase his overall production.

The recent move back to the bench hasn't slowed down Ilyasova. He scored 22 points on 7 of 12 shooting (4 of 7 from three-point range) against the Nets.

Ilyasova had a team-high 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the Sixers' win over the Pelicans on Dec. 8, so we'll see what he can do for an encore.

3. Block party
With just 14 wins between the two teams, you can understand why the Sixers and Pelicans are near the bottom of several statistical categories.

However, that doesn't include blocks. Thanks to Davis' league-leading 2.8 swats a night, the Pelicans are second in the NBA with 6.2 blocks a game. 

The Sixers aren't far behind at fourth with 5.7 blocks a game. Embiid spearheads that department with 2.5, the third-highest mark in the league.

The Sixers racked up eight blocks in the season's first meeting, with Embiid accounting for half that total.

4. Injuries
Nik Stauskas (knee) is probable. Ben Simmons (foot) is out for the Sixers.

Tyreke Evans (rest) and Quincy Pondexter (knee) are out for the Pelicans.

5. This and that
• The Sixers and Pelicans have split the series each of the past two seasons.

• The Sixers made 12 of 40 three-pointers in the season's first matchup.

• St. Joe's product Langston Galloway had 19 points in the first meeting.

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