By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound against the Indiana Pacers, after losing to the Cavaliers on Saturday. Philly came to play tonight as they used a hot shooting night and a strong performance from the bench to roast the Pacers 130-112.
It did not start out well for Philly. Early in the first quarter Indiana got out to a hot start and were killing Philly from the three-point line. Doug McDermott lit them up as he hit a three and was attacking the paint as well. The Sixers were able to weather the early storm and take a one-point lead. This first quarter comeback was powered by the perimeter defense and bench of Philly.
Philly turned up the heat on the Pacers and forced them into 16 turnovers. Philly was able to take advantage and get their offense started through the fast break if they did not get a dunk, they were able to find the open shooter from the three-point line. This was apparent in the second quarter as they went on a 58-28 scoring run. Unlike on Sunday the Sixers hit their shots tonight and found a third scorer in guard Shake Milton.
Milton who is just returning from an ankle injury scored 26-points and hit three-three pointers. If he can return to form? That will be a positive for Philly, especially in the absence of forward Tobias Harris. His presence was felt tonight as he powered the bench to a 67-point output. The most points they have scored in a long time.
Shake was not the only one who was hot tonight off the bench. As guard Furkan Korkmaz got out of his slump tonight he scored 19-points and hit six three-pointers.
On the bench and Milton and Korkmaz’s good night, “It’s great, it’s what we need. When those two play well off our bench, we’re pretty tough,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Indiana did not go away quietly. Early in the third quarter they cut the Sixers lead to 11-points and forced Philly to take a timeout. Indiana was powered by guard Malcolm Brogdon who scored 20-points. After that timeout, the Sixers put the game away by going on a 13-0 scoring run. Powered by guard/forward Ben Simmons (18-points) and center Joel Embiid (24-points). They combined for 42 of the Sixers 130-points. This was the rare game where Philly did not need much from their two stars and were able to rest them.
Philly now heads to a prime-time rematch against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night and they will need to have another strong defensive performance and a good shooting night to beat the Jazz.
On the match-up with Jazz, “I think we’d all be thrilled to death if we played a third time,” said Rivers.