Game Preview | Seeking a Perfect Homestand

by Lauren Rosen

The Seventy Sixers (26-16) will look for their 20th home win in 22 tries this season as they host the Chicago Bulls (15-27) Friday in South Philadelphia.

The contest marks the first of three meetings with the Bulls this season, and is the first night of a back-to-back for the Sixers, which will face the Knicks Saturday in New York City.

The Sixers are 2-2 since Joel Embiid was sidelined (finger), and has the opportunity to get its second straight win Friday before hitting the road.

Brett Brown felt Wednesday’s win over the Nets set the right tone for the team defensively, which began at the opening tip, as Matisse Thybulle stepped into the starting lineup.

“Really, it was a defensive decision,” Brett Brown said. “I felt like Matisse, two reasons - would come in and give us a better base to start the game defensively, and second, it is most definitely on my mind to increase his role, to give him more responsibility.”

The defensive decision paid off, as Thybulle racked up a career-high four blocks, along with two steals, five points, and three rebounds in 27 minutes of play. He finished the game at +10, the second-highest plus/minus in the game.

“My role’s been being a spark plug off the bench,” Thybulle said. “[Starting], I think there’s a lot more emphasis on setting the pace and the tone for the game.”

Tobias Harris was dominant in Wednesday’s second half, scoring 24 of his 34 points in the third and fourth frames. 

Josh Richardson (15 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 3 blk) was impressed:

“[Tobias] was huge. He was killing it - it looked like he was shooting a grape in the ocean. He was on fire.”

Richardson’s focus is on Friday’s game, with the hopes that the team can keep its home momentum rolling on the road.

“Right now, we need to figure out how to win this next game,” Richardson said. “If we play on the road like we do at home, we’re a 30-something win team already. We’ll just keep tightening the screws up, and going forward.”

Friday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

Zach LaVine is having a career year, averaging 24.6 points per game. Over his last five outings, he’s averaged 32 points per game, including a 43-point performance Jan. 10 in Indianapolis, and two straight 30-point performances in his last two games.

The Bulls had lost six straight before winning two of their last three, most recently including a win over the Wizards in Washington Wednesday.

Follow Along:

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / MyTeams App / ESPN

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

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