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Five Figures: Sixers edge out Knicks behind stellar play from Ben Simmons

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NBA: New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

1-1 3PT

The Philadelphia 76ers erased a 17-point deficit to defeat the New York Knicks last night, a surge led by Ben Simmons who played an outstanding game. In a game-high 41 minutes of play, Simmons totaled 18 points, 7 rebounds, 13 assists (with just 1 turnover!) and 2 stocks. His defensive play was DPOY-esque. And nothing I’ve mentioned so far constitutes the biggest storyline from the game for Ben, because Simmons hit his first career three-pointer against the Knicks — a corner three that looked smooth, comfortable, and repeatable:

43.2% on shots 14 ft. and in (per Cleaning The Glass)

The Knicks put on a jump shooting clinic against the Sixers, hitting 52% on their 25 3PA and 50.0% on their long midrange shots. But the Sixers’ saving grace was their ability to deter shots in the paint, holding the Knicks to just 52.2% at the rim and 43.2% on all shots within 14 ft. of the hoop.

40.6% 3PT (per NBA.com)

While the Knicks splashed threes all game, the Sixers were quite proficient from deep themselves, shooting 40.6% from behind the arc. Every single Sixer that logged a minute against the Knicks also logged a 3PT attempt, and only Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton were unable to find the bottom of the net. The Sixers’ 32 3PA is their 5th highest single-game total and their 40.6% is their 4th best single-game conversion rate this season. Mike Scott made the strongest contribution from behind the arc, hitting 4 of his 6 attempts, with many coming at crucial points in the 2nd half.

10.4% TOV (per Cleaning The Glass)

Can you call two-game streak a trend? If so, a trend is brewing among the Sixers that should reduce the blood pressure levels of fans across the Delaware Valley: against the Cavaliers, Philly turned the ball over on just 11.4% of possessions and against the Knicks, they did so on just 10.4% of possessions. The former is the 3rd lowest single-game rate of the season and the latter is the lowest.

30 assists (per NBA.com)

The Sixers moved the ball well as a team, racking up 30 assists against the Knicks. Ben Simmons was very active setting up teammates: while his 13 assists are impressive, even more impressive is that while Ben was on the floor, his teammates made 26 shots, meaning Simmons’ assist percentage was 50.0% (per Cleaning The Glass). Joel Embiid also made an impression as a passer with 5 assists (3 came from handoffs but many Embiid’s passes had zip and vision), which should have been 6 had Korkmaz buried this beautiful find out of a double team:

Even Tobias Harris was feeling generous, his 4 dimes all leading to threes. Three of those triples were made possible directly by Harris collapsing the defense with drives and then kicking out. The Sixers went on to finish with a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.