Game Preview | Seeking a Perfect Back-to-Back
The 76ers (13-6) will host the Indiana Pacers (12-6) at the Center Saturday, hoping to finish off a perfect back-to-back.
Shorthanded on Friday at Madison Square Garden, the Sixers rallied to a comeback victory to start the two game set on a high note.
With Al Horford (rest), Kyle O’Quinn (calf strain), and Josh Richardson (hamstring tightness) sidelined, the remaining group took control of its own fate.
Forced to dig out of a 51-39 halftime deficit, the Sixers were on a mission in the second half.
Fueled by Tobias Harris’ nine third quarter points and eight more from James Ennis III, the team would outscore the Knicks, 31-17, in the frame. The Sixers also doubled New York’s rebounds in the period, 16-8.
“We’re dogs, you know we’re going to fight,” Ben Simmons said. “That’s one of the things about this team - everybody in this locker room wants to fight, no matter what amount of time you’re on the floor for. I love that about this team.”
In the fourth quarter, Ennis III pulled through once again - draining his third triple of the night, then shooting a flawless 7 for 7 from the foul line down the stretch.
“The ball was going in for me tonight,” Ennis III said. “I’m very happy. I put a lot of work in my game, and hard work pays off.”
All said and done, the Sixers won the second half by a commanding 18-point margin.
Less than 24 hours later, the team will welcome the Pacers - and one very familiar face - to South Philadelphia.
Returning to the Center for the first time since his four seasons as a 76er is fan favorite T.J. McConnell. After joining the Pacers this summer, McConnell is averaging a career-high 7.1 points per game.
Saturday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Also facing a back-to-back, the Pacers have won five straight. Friday’s contest against Atlanta ended in a 105-104 overtime victory for the Pacers, despite Trae Young’s 49 point performance.
In his first season as a Pacer, Malcolm Brogdon is averaging career-highs across the board, including 18.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 8.1 assists per game.
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / MyTeams App / NBA TV
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic