Tonight, the Sixers put on such a dominant performance, such a show, that I’m almost at a loss for words. We’re used to seeing the Sixers build up big leads, only to see them squandered in the second half. Tonight, the Sixers put their foot on the gas and never let up, beating the Detroit Pistons 114-78. This 36 point win is the fourth largest margin of victory in over 20 years. The Sixers now sit with a record of 19-19 and are tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
Ben Simmons started the game off on the right foot with the Sixers’ first 6 of 9 points. He was aggressive driving to the basket and seemed more comfortable taking shots than he has in recent memory. His hook shot from five feet came back into his shot rotation and he even made a mid-range shot (not jumper) from about 8 feet.
JJ Redick had a monster game finishing with 21 points. He shot 100% from the free throw line, taking six free throws, including those given for both Stan Van Gundy and Andre Drummond’s technical fouls. He was a team-leading +34 in 24 minutes of play.
Robert Covington had an off first half, only attempting one shot and frustratingly choosing to pass to Jerryd Bayless instead of taking open looks. His first points didn’t come until the third quarter but once he started shooting the buckets started falling. He shot 75% from 3 in the second half and scored 11 points in a span of about six minutes.
The Sixers defense didn’t disappoint either. After allowing the Pistons to score on their first possession, the Sixers didn’t let up another point for five minutes. They held the Pistons to 15 points in the first quarter, while putting up 32 themselves. The 78 points scored by the Pistons are the fewest points that the Sixers have allowed this season.
What was hyped as the Battle of the Big Men turned out to be a pretty one-sided battle. Joel Embiid finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds. He was +26 in 25 minutes of play, second only to Redick’s +34. Andre Drummond put up 10-8-5 and was -30, a team low. The only trash-talking that appeared in this game nonsensically came from Drummond. After hitting both of his free throws, he signaled for the crowd to quiet down, only to quickly be T’d up. After Redick sunk the awarded free throw, the Sixers enjoyed their 31 point lead. Not long after, Drummond exited the game for good while Joel Embiid enjoyed the fourth quarter from the bench with his fellow starters.
-Six Sixers scored in double figures tonight (Dario Saric, Covington, Embiid, Simmons, Redick, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot)
-Saric had a quiet, yet productive night. He shot 50% from 3 and finished with 11-6-3.
-T.J. McConnell played a team-high 30 minutes, but only put up two points. He was still +22 on the night and had five rebounds and four assists.
-I continue to be amazed by Richaun Holmes’s ability to pull down any ball he wants. He had seven rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
-Justin Anderson made his return to the court, last appearing on November 15th. He logged eight minutes and contributed four rebounds and one assist.
-The Sixers had a season-low 17 personal fouls and a respectable 12 turnovers.