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Sixers prove they can run with the Bulls, defeating them 115-101

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The Sixers capitalize on a historic game by Ben Simmons, evening the season series against the Bulls.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers defeated the Chicago Bulls tonight 115-101 on the back of Ben Simmons’s dominating performance. On a night dedicated to his homeland, Simmons came out of the gate running, tallying a stat line of 8-11-5 in the first quarter alone. He notched a triple-double in less than 22 minutes of play and finished with a line of 19-17-14, becoming only the second rookie in NBA history to reach those minimums and joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only Sixers to do so.

Simmons wasn’t the only one who contributed to this win. Dario Saric finished with his eighth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 80% from three-point range and had a team-leading +/- of 31.

Joel Embiid had another off night, although his 22 points don’t necessarily show it. It took him awhile to warm up tonight as 14 of his 22 points came in the second half. He is always felt as a defensive presence and finished with five rebounds and two blocks.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot continues to shine as a starter, getting hot in the second half and finishing with 12 points. All of these points came from threes, and he finished with a 3-point percentage of 57.1%. TLC wasn’t the only one who excelled from deep, as the Sixers averaged 50% from three as a team. Coming into tonight’s game they averaged 36%, 18th in the league.

The Sixers learned from their mistakes in Memphis and finished with only 15 turnovers for the game. The Bulls scored only 10 points off the Sixers’ turnovers, as compared to the Grizzlies’ 39 on Monday. Cleaning up the turnovers will continue to be a key component of Sixers victories.

Other Notes

  • Amir Johnson finished with only three points, but those came on a buzzer-beating heave from beyond the arc. The bench went nuts when it went in.
  • Nikola Mirotic was not the threat that he normally is from three. Coming into this game his average 3PT% was 44% but tonight he shot only 25% from three.
  • The Bulls shot 94 field goals tonight, above their average of 89. They shot those additional shots poorly, finishing with a FG% of 38.3% and a 3PT% of 29.7%
  • Simmons was frequently matched up with David Nwaba and made it a point to push himself to the basket despite Nwaba’s defensive efforts. Simmons played with a lot of physicality tonight, contributing to his outstanding stat line.
  • Robert Covington finished with 16 points and shot 57.1% from three.
  • Justin Anderson saw extended minutes in the absence of TJ McConnell and used them to his advantage. He was only behind Saric in +/- and finished with 12 points in about 21 minutes of playing time. He had a particularly strong first half in which he scored 9 points.