76ers Look to Keep Rolling in Chicago

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (43-21) are back atop the Eastern Conference, 0.5 games ahead of the No. 2 Brooklyn Nets (43-22).

The Sixers gained control of the East on the first night of their back-to-back Sunday in San Antonio, topping the Spurs, 113-111 in overtime.

With just eight regular season games remaining, the Sixers now have the chance to control their own playoff seeding destiny.

The latter end of the back-to-back brings the Sixers to Chicago Monday, meeting the Bulls (26-38) for the third and final time this season.

The Sixers took each of the first two meetings with Chicago, winning 112-105 on Feb. 19 in South Philadelphia, and 127-105 on March 11 in Chicago.

Joel Embiid notched his first career 50-point performance in the first meeting between the teams, finishing with 50 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and four blocks. He shot 17-for-26 from the field, and made 15 of his 17 free throw attempts.

The Sixers won the second meeting with the Bulls without Embiid or Ben Simmons, as Tobias Harris led the crew to victory with 24 points, three rebounds and four assists. Seven Sixers finished in double figures in the matchup.

Monday night, the Sixers will seek their fifth consecutive victory in Chicago. The team’s fourth straight ended in dramatic fashion Sunday, as Ben Simmons’ overtime heroics and game-winning tip sealed the victory.

“It’s good that we got the win, and fought through adversity - but obviously, you want to win by a lot every game,” Simmons said postgame. “We fought to the end.”

Despite the tricky schedule - the team has entered a stretch with five games in seven days - Simmons is ready to embrace the challenge:

“We have good energy and good spirit, so I’m looking forward to playing [Monday].”

Monday’s matchup tips at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Bulls (26-38) have lost three in a row, most recently falling to the Hawks, 108-97, Saturday in Atlanta.

As of Monday morning, Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols) is doubtful for Monday’s matchup, and new Bull Nikola Vucevic is questionable (right adductor tightness). Troy Brown Jr. is out (left ankle sprain).

Thaddeus Young led the Bulls in scoring Saturday, nearing a triple-double with 20 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. LaVine and Vucevic both missed the matchup.

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