By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to pick-up where they left off. As they faced the Chicago Bulls in a prime-time match-up. They used a strong shooting night and some strong defense to stifle the Bulls 127-105.
Philly came into this game missing both of their All-Stars center Joel Embiid and guard/forward Ben Simmons because of covid-19 safety protocols. There were a lot more opportunities available for Philly because of their absence. Guard/forward Matisse Thybulle took full advantage of the opportunity as he started for Simmons and promptly made life difficult for Chicago. He was able to get four steals in four minutes that helped Philly get easy opportunities off the fast break. Thybulle scored a career high 13-points. This was one of the best games of his career and he hit three three-pointers. If Thybulle can get more consistent from beyond the arc he can be an even bigger asset off the bench.
On Thybulle’s performance, “Its huge for us,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
The Sixers also got another big night from their bench. This was a game where everybody needed to step-up to hold the Bulls down. The second unit answered the call. Center Dwight Howard (18-points) and guard Furkan Korkmaz (16-points) combined for 34-points off the bench. The bench scored 51-points. They needed all those points to hold Chicago down.
The Bulls battled back in the second quarter and were able to retake the lead. Chicago was powered by forward Lauri Markkanen (23-points) and Coby White (18-points). They combined for 41 of Chicago’s 96-points. Philly came back because of the defense of Thybulle and the scoring of forward Tobias Harris. Harris had a rough start to the game but picked his scoring up in the second half to put the Bulls away. He scored 24-points.
On the win, “This was definitely one of our better ones,” said Rivers.
The Sixers were able to get a confidence building win as this was a total team effort without Embiid and Simmons. They now head to Washington DC to face the Wizards tomorrow night. They might get Embiid back for that game if he tests negative. If this game is anything to go by the Sixers may be ok without them. The Wizards will look to test that theory.