In the Bonus | 01.24.18 vs Bulls

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ January 24th 115-101 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Click here for a complete recap of the game, and be sure to check out our post-game pod below:

Bonus Points:

• The Sixers’ defense, which has been increasingly stingy as of late, clamped down again Wednesday, allowing the Chicago Bulls to convert only a paltry 38.3 percent of their field goal attempts (36-94 fg). The figure represents the fourth-lowest field goal percentage posted by a Sixers’ opponent this season, and dropped the team’s January opponent field goal percentage to 41.7 percent, good for the best mark in NBA. The Sixers’ 43.6 opponent field goal percentage for the year is just 0.3 percentage points off the league lead, currently held by the Boston Celtics (43.3 oppfg%).

• Along those lines, behind another stellar defensive showing, the Sixers, as of Thursday morning, had moved up to the no. 3 spot on the league’s defensive rating chart. Surrendering just 102.7 points per 100 possessions, they trail only the Boston Celtics (99.8 drtg) and San Antonio Spurs (100.5 drtg) in this statistical category.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons put their respective rising star power on display steadily throughout Wednesday’s convincing victory, particularly at the outset of the game. The duo accounted for the Sixers’ first 10 points, Embiid scoring 6 and Simmons punching in 4, before the big man got his first breather of the night six minutes into the opening period. During that same stretch, Embiid accounted for a block and 2 rebounds as well, while Simmons supplied 2 boards and 2 assists.

• Looking back at what proved to be arguably the most well-rounded performance of Ben Simmons’ young, 43-game career, it wasn’t just the volume of his output (19 pts, 17 reb, 14 ast) that was so impressive, but how quickly he managed to achieve some gaudy numbers. The Aussie point man needed a mere 16 minutes to secure his 19th double-double of the season (14th-most in the NBA, by the way). Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau, here are a few more nuggets on the swiftness with which Simmons put together a memorable outing:

• Between the 19 points he scored himself, and the 35 points the Sixers generated off his 14 assists, Ben Simmons had a say in 54 of the club’s 115 total points Wednesday, good for nearly 47.0 percent.

Dario Saric extended his career-long double-figure scoring streak to a 24th game Wednesday. He also delivered his consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound showing, the second time in his career that’s happened.

• Like Dario Saric, Robert Covington is in the midst of a consistent stretch, too. Over the last three games, the small forward has nailed 11 of his 24 3-point tries, while averaging just under 12 points per game.

• In three straight starts in the absence of JJ Redick (left leg) and Jerryd Bayless (left wrist), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (12 pts, 4-7 3fg vs Chicago) has reached double-figures three times, his longest streak since closing his rookie season with seven such outings in a row. The Frenchman is 13 for 20 from beyond the arc his last three games, as well.

• Signed by the Sixers to a 10-day contract Tuesday, Larry Drew II found himself playing in the 13th game of his NBA career a little more than 24 hours later. After keeping a red-hot Ben Simmons on the court for all 12 minutes of Wednesday’s first quarter, Brett Brown turned to Drew II for point guard duties at the outset of the second period. The 27-year old logged about 3 minutes of action, and was given additional run in the fourth frame. In 9 minutes Wednesday, Drew II got up a couple 3-pointers, and finished with one assist. He appeared in 12 contests for the Sixers during the 2014-2015 campaign, and also played for the Summer Sixers this past year.

• For the plus-minus crowd out there, there were two eye-popping ones of note Wednesday. The Sixers outscored Chicago by 31 points in the 27 minutes Dario Saric (21 pts, 4-5 3fg, 10 reb) was on the court, and by 23 in the 20 minutes that reserve forward Justin Anderson (12 pts, 5-7 fg) played.

Justin Anderson, meanwhile, has answered the call the past two games. Following an 8-point effort Monday in Memphis, he deposited a season-high tying 12 points Wednesday versus the Bulls. Brett Brown likes what he’s seeing from the second-year Sixer.

“He’s physical, he’s different, he’s bull-in-a-china-shop mentality,” said Brown.

James Young made his second appearance for the Sixers since signing a two-way contract on January 5th. He hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter, after missing Monday’s game in Memphis with gastroenteritis.

• En route to going 16 for 32 from 3-point territory Wednesday, the Sixers were especially accurate from distance in the second half, connecting on 9 of 16 heaves. The team’s 16 triples tied its second-highest total of the season (18 3fgm 11/3 vs Indiana).

Ryan Arcidiacono, the Neshaminy High School product who starred at Villanova for four seasons, received an appreciative ovation from the local crowd when he subbed in for Chicago with three minutes to go in Wednesday’s first quarter. Now in his second year as a professional, Arcidiacono was tabbed the Most Outstanding Player of the Wildcats’ thrilling 2016 NCAA title run, and during his stint with the program, had plenty of opportunities to play at The Center, Nova’s alternate home venue. 

• There were plenty of notable faces in Wednesday’s sold out crowd of 20,547, including former Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, boxing icon Evander Holyfield, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris.

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