After pouring in 34 points in a career performance, Furkan Korkmaz scored 31 to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Chicago Bulls 118-111 in the penultimate game before the All-Star break.
The teams raced out to a fast start in the first quarter with Korkmaz pouring in 17 points to help the Philadelphia 76ers gain a 13-point advantage after the first period.
The Chicago Bulls, who found themselves down 15 at one point in the first half, would not go away easily. The Bulls retook the lead with 9:59 remaining in the third and the rest of the game remained a tightly contested battle.
Tonight was also the first night that newly acquired pieces Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks were active. Robinson, who last played for Philadelphia in 2015, scored 10 points in 12 minutes. Burks did not see the court.
Furkan Korkmaz followed up his career high 34-point performance with 31 tonight. Korkmaz has emerged the past few weeks as a legitimate threat from outside. More impressively, however, is his development on the defensive end highlighted by his three steals tonight. Kormaz’s improvement on both ends makes his two-year minimum deal look like a steal.
Ben was the undisputed leader of the team throughout the game. He controlled the pace of the game on both ends of the court and was able to pick up his 28th triple-double of his young career. Simmons once again made his case for a spot on the All-NBA Defensive team.
Despite scoring 28 points tonight was a struggle for Joel. Luckily, he turned it on the fourth and helped the Sixers seal the win. Embiid shot less than 50 percent from the field and still showed signs of an injured finger, being hesitant to go left. Joel is one of the best in the Association, however, and helped guide the Sixers to the win when it counted most.
In his Sixers debut Robinson preformed pretty well. Coming from the Warriors we knew he’d be able to move and shoot. While he missed the only three he attempted, Robinson was able to consistently find openings on the floor. Each of his five baskets came from layups. It’s not surprising Brett Brown did not play Robinson much but when he was in, he did well.
Al Horford did not score tonight. Just a couple of nights ago he shushed the home crowd. His abysmal showing tonight will not help him gain the support of the Philadelphia crowd. It seems like all is going in the wrong direction for Al.
The 76ers are back in action Tuesday night, at home, against the Los Angeles Clippers for their final game before the break.
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