At the Buzzer | Key Stretch Starts With Impressive Win at Indiana

by Lauren Rosen

At the Buzzer:

Staring down a difficult stretch of the season, the 76ers (30-16) made a statement Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, handily defeating the Indiana Pacers (29-15), 120-96.

The Sixers now lead the season series, 2-1.

The team finished with 38 assists on 46 field goals, marking their third-highest assist total this season. Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons accounted for eight dimes each.

Brett Brown was thrilled.

“[Thirty-eight assists] is a statement that we’re proud of,” Brown said. “I’m proud of us - sharing and caring.”

Led by Butler’s 27 points and three steals, the Sixers grew their lead as the game went along.

A three-point lead at the end of the first frame grew into a six-point lead at halftime. Six became 15 by the end of the third, culminating in a decisive 24-point victory.

“It’s huge,” Simmons said after the win. He finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

“We’re growing, we’re learning. We’re continuing to build each game.”

Behind a strong second half, Embiid collected 22 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks.

The Sixers shot a season-high 52.9 percent from beyond the arc (18-34), thanks largely to JJ Redick. He was 6 for 9 from deep, and scored 20 points overall.

The team’s tough stretch continues Saturday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s all incrementally important,” Brown said of Thursday’s win, which tips off a stretch of 11 playoff-seeded opponents in 12 games. “Here we are tonight… step by step, we responded.”

Sixers Social:

Jimmy Buckets was in full force.

Up Next:

The Sixers will face the Oklahoma City Thunder (26-17) for the first time this season Saturday at The Center. Paul George is midway through the best season of his career, averaging 26.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. As of Thursday, the Thunder had lost four of their last five.