Just like Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby said at the top of the broadcast tonight, there truly is no place like home for the Sixers. Now in the middle of their four-game home stand, Philadelphia looked to get past the young and hungry Chicago Bulls. With both Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III available, the hope was that the added reinforcements would be able to help in a game where the home side was a heavy favorite.
The Sixers went back to their bullying ways early in this one. They forced the issue down low and were rewarded with easy trips to the free throw line. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had six free throw attempts between the two of them in the first few minutes of the game. The Bulls were missing three of their best players in Lauri Markannen, Otto Porter Jr., and Wendell Carter Jr., so they had some trouble matching up with the greatest player in basketball history, Furkan Korkmaz. The Turkish flamethrower continued his hot run, scoring 17 first-quarter points, going 4-of-5 from deep to pace both teams. Ben Simmons added in six points and five assists to help the Sixers go up, 38-25.
Once the second quarter started, Sixers fans got their first look at new acquisition Glenn Robinson III. He scored a quick four points to give fans a taste of exactly what he can do, finish around the rim and shoot pretty jumpers. This quarter was tough for the Sixers’ offense; the Bulls stacked the inside and made it tough to finish, causing the team to stagnate a bit. Ben Simmons continued to be a star and keep the Sixers afloat, finishing the quarter with a 12-6-6 line. When things were all said and done, the Sixers took a 60-55 lead into the half.
The start of the second half was all Chicago; they came out and threw their best punches and forced Philadelphia to fight and claw for every basket. Both teams were on the seesaw for much of this quarter, the lead going back and forth between them. Zach LaVine continued to be a thorn in the Sixers’ side, he dominated the quarter and ended with 28 points to lead all scorers. This game would have to come down to the final quarter with both sides tied at 83 apiece.
The Sixers came out swinging in the final frame, thanks in large part to Joel Embiid dominating down low. Realizing just how much of a mismatch playing against Luke Kornet was in his favor, Embiid went to town down low. But for the second game in a row, the talk of the town was Furkan Korkmaz. His late 3-pointer was followed up by a thunderous dunk that gave the Sixers a 10-point lead from which they would never look back. Korkmaz ended this one with 31 points, his second straight game with over 30 off the bench.
.@sixers @FurkanKorkmaz is the first @NBA player to score at least 30 points in consecutive games off the bench this season.— Sixers Stats (@SixersStats) February 10, 2020
The last player to do so was @TeamLou23 in two games from March 8-11, 2019.
Both Zach LaVine and Luke Kornet tried to keep the Bulls in this one, but the Sixers were just too much to handle in the end. Lavine ended the game with 32 points, leading all scorers, and Kornet ended with a career-high 25 points before fouling out. Ben Simmons grabbed one final rebound before time expired to give him another triple double with a 19-10-10 line to help Philly finish off a 118-111 win.
The Sixers’ big three of Simmons, Embiid, and Korkmaz (yeah, I said it, fight me) all had great games to help improve the Sixers’ league-best home record to an outstanding 24-2. Next up is a date with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, before heading into the All-Star break.