Riding on the back of the unlikely hero Furkan Korkkmaz yet again, the Philadelphia 76ers improved their home record to a league-best 24-2. While not always pretty at times, the Sixers saw solid games from their usual stars along with some contribution via a new face.
After what felt like an eternity, the Sixers were finally acquiring their two new players (which they traded for back on Wednesday night). Both Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks were officially in Philly, medicals completed and all.
Joel Embiid and Al Horford were also both last-minute additions to the active list as they battled their own respective nagging injuries.
However, it would be none of the mentioned names above which would steal the show on Sunday night. Furkan Korkmaz, who posted a career-high 34 points against the Grizzlies just two nights prior, was a man on a mission in the first quarter.
Korkmaz poured in 17 points during the first period of play, knocking down his first four shots. He became just the fourth player in NBA history to score 17 points in the first quarter while coming off the bench. Obviously, this is a Sixers franchise record as well.
Korkmaz was electric. He was moving without the ball, sending defenders flying with pump fakes, attacking the basket, and even forcing a few turnovers on defense. His ascension into a legit “sixth man” for the Sixers has been one of the team’s best stories of 2020.
Korkmaz finished the night with a game-high 31 points on 12-17 shooting. His second consecutive game scoring 30+.
The remainder of the game slowed down a bit for Philly as the Bulls clawed all the way back, even taking the lead for a bit in the third quarter. Chicago star Zach Lavine finished the night with 23 points on 11-21 shooting.
The Sixers ultimately turned to Embiid late in the game, riding his offensive production all the way to a victory. He finished the night with 28 points and 12 rebounds, while also recording a season-high in blocks with 4.
The Sixers also got solid production from the duo of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. Simmons posted a triple-double with 19 points, 10 assists, and 10 boards (his 5th on the season). While Harris dropped in 14 on over 50% shooting.
Solid Debut for GR3
While Alec Burks sat out his first game as a Philadelphia 76er, Glenn Robinson III was busy making himself at home. He logged 12 very solid minutes, scoring 10 points on 5-6 shooting while recording a +/- of +11. He should prove to be a viable option for Philly moving forward.
Al Horford Woes Continue
Just one game removed from “shushing” the Philly faithful, Al Horford had one of the worst games of his entire career. Scoring 0 points on 0-6 shooting, it was the first time Horford had ever been held scoreless. His fit next to Embiid remains a serious question mark, especially considering how much money he’s making.
Embiid Joins in on the Action
Similar to that of Horford, Joel Embiid has been on the back end of some criticism from the Sixers home crowd. Upset with his lack of usual dominance, the fans went as far as showering their franchise star with some boos the last two games. Embiid responded with a game-high 28 points against the Bulls, shushing the crowd himself after hitting a dagger three late in the game.
Whether this was playful fun or legitimate anger on Embiid’s part, only time will tell.
The Sixers will remain in Philadelphia for one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. They’ll host Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers on Tuesday, their last game before the All-Star break.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports