By: Kylan Watson
The Chicago Bulls were trying to change their fortune as they faced the Philadelphia 76ers for the second of four matchups this season. The Bulls were able to make it rain from the three-point line, they made 20 three-pointers and flooded the Sixers off their home-floor beating them 126-112.
The Sixers started the game off hot they jumped on the Bulls from the opening tip-off. They forced the Bulls into some early mistakes which allowed them to get easy baskets on the fast break. That strategy allowed Philly to get a 13-point lead early in the first quarter. Tyrese Maxey led them he scored 13 of his 26-points in the first quarter and his playmaking was pivotal for the Sixers. He was able to find his teammates in the holes of Chicago’s defense which got them high-percentage shots. He continues to work his way back from a foot injury, but he is rounding into form and that has helped Philly rocket up the standings in the loaded Eastern Conference. Also, his continued improvement from the three-point line has added another dimension to their dynamic offense and if he can continue to become a two-way player it will help the Sixers to have one of the best offenses in the league.
Despite the offensive explosion from Maxey the Bulls weathered the storm. Zach Lavine refused to let his team lose tonight as he scored 41-points and hit 11 three-pointers. In the third quarter he hit eight three-pointers, and those shots were back-breaking for the Sixers. As they found the bottom of the net despite good defense being played on him. He would just make the shot over outstretched arms. Before Philly knew it their lead was erased, and the Bulls were up 15-points at the end of the third quarter and threatening to run them off the floor. Lavine was the engine tonight and the Sixers had no answers for him tonight. Additionally, they will need to improve their perimeter defense if they want to go far in the playoffs.
Philly will now prepare for a two-game series on Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons. They will need to be strong on the defensive end because the Pistons have a young and athletic backcourt that will take full advantage of weak defensive play and either put up a three-pointer or attack the basket. The Sixers will need to deter them and force them into some harder shots if they want to win both games against them in this series.