By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high as they entered a tough conference match-up with the Indiana Pacers. They had a two-game win streak and they needed all the grit they could muster to outpace Indiana and come from behind to beat them 119-110.
It didn’t look good early on for the Sixers. It looked like a lay-up drill. As the Pacers were able to attack the paint at will without Joel Embiid there to stop them. Philly was dominated early by guard Malcolm Brogdon. Who scored 25-points. He carved up Philly’s defenders from the perimeter and the paint. They had no answers for him. When they would make it difficult for him. His teammate Domantas Sabonis would attack. He scored 21-points and also took full advantage of the fact Embiid didn’t play tonight. His play got Philly defenders in foul trouble and got the Pacers to a 15-point lead by half-time.
Philly continued to fight and made it tough on Indiana. When it looked like the game might get away from them. They battled back. They cut a 20-point lead to six, and finally took the lead late in the fourth quarter. Theyy turned up the defensive heat and forced the Pacers into a scoring drought. In the final five minutes the Sixers went on a 21-4 scoring run. That allowed them to beat Indiana by nine points. The run was powered by guard Furkan Korkmas who scored six of the Sixers 21-points late in the game. Those were timely buckets one of them tied the game and put Philly ahead. Korkmas scored 17-points off the bench. To power Philly to their third straight victory.
The Sixers will need confidence building victories like this in Embiid’s absence. To not only build the depth of them team, but get them to build their offensive repertoire. On night’s when Embiid does not have it offensively. This was a big game for not only Korkmas, but the duo of forward Tobias Harris and guard/forward Ben Simmons. They combined for 48 of the Sixers 119-points. Big games like this are needed from Harris and Simmons. To power them on both sides of the ball and for the rest of the season.