In the Bonus | 2.6.18 vs Wizards

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ February 6th 115-102 win over the Washington Wizards.

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

Bonus Points:

• In what was perhaps a sign of balanced scoring to come, the Sixers got their first four baskets Tuesday from four different players. Dario Saric scored on a driving lay-up, Ben Simmons on a dunk, and then Joel Embiid and JJ Redick both hit threes. By evening’s end, all five of the Sixers’ starters had reached double-figures, with both Embiid (27 pts) and Saric (20 pts) reaching the 20-point mark.

• About three and a half minutes into Tuesday’s first quarter, an impressive streak that had been compiled by Ben Simmons came to an end. Prior to making an errant pass that resulted in a turnover, the rookie point man had gone consecutive games without a giveaway. Despite committing five turnovers in Tuesday’s opening half, Simmons bounced back in the second stanza, going without a turnover between the third and fourth periods.

• Given how punishing he’s proven to be in the open court, Ben Simmons, in this mid-first quarter sequence, could have easily driven all the way to the rim for what would have likely been a powerful finish. Instead, the pass-inclined Aussie sensed an opportunity to spread the scoring wealth, and laid off a trailing pass that was slammed home by Dario Saric.

• Dario Saric dunking? It’s not what the Swiss Army-style forward is best known for, but in the play above, leaves little doubt that he can indeed rock the rim on occasion. The jam was Saric’s sixth of the season, half his total from last year, per basketball-reference.

• In a game that saw the Sixers knock down 14 of 28 3-point attempts, their perimeter stroke was contagious, with 6-foot-9 center Amir Johnson even getting into the mix. This first-quarter triple was his fifth of the season.

• Amir Johnson’s 3-pointer was only part of a very productive first quarter, and solid game in general. In just three and a half minutes of action in Tuesday’s opening frame, the veteran big man posted 7 points, a rebound, and a steal. Providing the Sixers with a consistently active, aggressive presence around the rim, he finished with 9 points, and 4 rebounds overall.

• Summoning up strong play on both ends of the floor, the Sixers dominated Tuesday’s first quarter. They were up 37-20 after 12 minutes, which represented their second-largest scoring margin through one period of play this season. The team’s 37-point first quarter output was its third-highest of the year, too.

• Heading into Tuesday’s game, Brett Brown talked about the need of the Sixers to be sound in their pick-and-roll defense against the Washington Wizards. This second-quarter stop, capped by a massive Jayhawk x Jayhawk stuff courtesy of Joel Embiid, was one of the Sixers’ highlights of the night in this area. Here are some of the things that stood out:

For starters, Robert Covington does a nice job fighting over a Mike Scott pick, before successfully switching with Dario Saric when Scott re-screens. Covington proceeds to stay with Scott as he rolls down the left side of the lane, while Saric manages to hang with the dangerously lanky and explosive Kelly Oubre, who penetrates the paint. With Scott drifting to the corner, Covington goes back to the interior, to help out on Oubre. Embiid then finishes things off.

• On the offensive end Tuesday, Joel Embiid seemed comfortable relying on his jumpshot to do the bulk of his scoring. He went 10 for 20 from the field, and 3 for 7 from 3-point territory. According to stats.nba.com, the big man took all but four of his attempts from distances of nine feet out or father. More than half of Embiid’s shots - 11 - were from 15 feet or deeper. He scored just twice on non-jumpers -- on a dunk in the final seconds of Tuesday’s third quarter, and on another slam late in the fourth. Here’s a look at Embiid’s shot chart against Washington:

• During Tuesday’s pre-game media availability, Brett Brown said the responsibility was his to find ways to get more scoring out of the Sixers’ bench. Against Washington, the reserve corps held its own, especially in the first half. The Sixers’ second-stringers notched 19 of their 23 total points between the first and second quarters.

• Right after Washington scored on its opening possession of the second half to get back within single-digits, Ben Simmons appeared to find another gear. He supplied the Sixers with their next 6 points, doing so on aggressive moves to the interior, all of which came at the expense of Otto Porter. This authoritative putback capped Simmons’ spurt.

• Whether through actions or attitude, a motto that Brett Brown and his staff created for the Sixers this season has been, “Philly Hard. Philly Real. Philly Edge.” This late fourth-quarter scramble that featured (perhaps not surprisingly) T.J. McConnell and Dario Saric captured the spirit of the slogan. The duo’s hustle was saluted by the sell-out crowd. 

• Despite being relatively even with Washington on the boards throughout Tuesday’s game, the Sixers rose to the rebounding occasion in crunch time. Over the final four minutes, 20 seconds of play, the Sixers outdid the Wizards on the glass, 5-1. Most significantly, three scoring plays came as the result of these rebounds, and allowed the Sixers to stretch their lead from 8 points to 15 by the time there were 70 seconds left on the clock. As of Wednesday, the Sixers topped the NBA in rebounds per game (46.7) and overall rebounding percentage (52.6%)

• Joel Embiid wrapped up Tuesday’s game with his 26th double-double of the season (27 pts, 12 reb), tying him with Houston’s Clint Capela for 10th-most on the NBA charts.