Before getting into the game description, one thing must be said:
BEN SIMMONS FOR THREE, YES!Marc Zumoff
Ben Simmons absolutely took over this game and did it early. In the first half alone, the 6’10 guard had 26 points (season-high, and 1-1 from deep!), five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals. His 11-12 shooting was where he made eight straight shots, not missing in the second quarter. He got to the line 12 times total, where he went 9-12.
He wound up finishing the game with a stat line of 34 PTS/ 3 REB/ 7 AST/ 2 BLOCKS/ 2 STEALS.
Being the game is the first game of a back-to-back, and the Sixers going up 41 at the half, coach Brett Brown sat his starters for the majority of the second half.
In a game where the Sixers started without both Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson, expectations were pretty low. Mike Scott and Furkan Korkmaz got their numbers called for the start. Despite this though, the Sixers came out hot.
Aside from Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers as a team commanded the entire first half. Mike Scott put up 16 points and Tobias had five. So far this season, the Cavs have been an above-average rebounding team. However, the Sixers as a team outrebounded the Cavs 26-15.
As for some analytics, the 25 rebounds are the most by an NBA team so far this season. Ben Simmons’ 26 first-half points are the highest in a single half of his career so far. And, Philadelphia’s 77 first-half points are the most the team has scored in any half since scoring 82 against Minnesota on January 15th of last season. The 41 point lead is the largest in franchise history.
For the numbers that don’t make the box score, the Sixers played their best half of defense so far this season. They held the Cavs to 36 points in the entire half. Matisse Thybulle and Ben Simmons led the way defensively, clogging almost every passing lane possible.
After the first half, Sixers led 77-36. Their largest run was only 10-0, showing that they controlled the entire half. Just absolute offensive and defensive dominance.
Ben Simmons came out hot again, but Raul Neto checked in for him shortly after Simmons surpassed his career-high with points (34). He finished the game with 34 points, going 12/14 from the floor in a mere 26 minutes.
The bench took over for the rest of the game after Neto checked in for Simmons only 3 minutes into the second half. The bench picked up 58 total points for the team. Norvel Pelle was able to score his first NBA field goal and pick up eight boards in 12 minutes of play.
Kyle O’Quinn played for the first time since November 23rd and came up big for the team. His 11 rebounds helped fill the void of Joel Embiid and allowed Al Horford to get some rest.
Trey Burke and Raul Neto, still battling for the backup point guard role, both made a statement. Burke is starting to show his ability to play on both ends of the court, coming up with a season-high 21 points and 4 steals.
To top it all off, the fans in attendance got free Frostys as Brandon Knight missed back-to-back free throws in the latter portion of the third quarter.
(Aside from Simmons):
- Trey Burke: 21 PTS/ 2 REB/ 8 AST/ 4 STEALS
- Mike Scott: 21 PTS/ 6 REB/ 2 AST
- Kyle O’Quinn: 10 PTS/ 11 REB/ 3 AST
The Sixers needed to get a big lead early to get the starters some rest. Tomorrow is a big home game against the Toronto Raptors, so they wanted to make sure everyone is good to go. Matisse Thybulle rolled his ankle in the second quarter and got ruled out the rest of the game, making him already questionable for tomorrow night.
Not a single Sixer was negative in +/- and the Sixers only turned the ball over seven times. They scored a season-high 141 as a team.
As a team, the Sixers shot 63.3% from the floor (best since Feb. 29, 2000, vs. Dallas) en route to a 141-94 victory over the Cavs. They led by as many as 53 at one point, a season-high for margin of victory Their record improves to brings their record to 11-0 at Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers are back at it tomorrow against the Toronto Raptors at 6 p.m.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports