Team Loses to Pacers in Competitive Battle
Ben Simmons got off to a big start, and Josh Richardson had a strong finish, but the 76ers (25-16) fell to the Indiana Pacers (25-15), 101-95, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Simmons notched 20 of his game-high 24 points in Monday's first half to stake the Sixers to a 49-40 advantage at the break. Richardson, who earlier in the day earned his first-ever Eastern Conference Player of the Week award, burst for 17 of his 23 in the fourth quarter, including the Sixers' last 13 points of the night.
Indiana, however, kept the Sixers off the scoreboard for the final two minutes of regulation, netting their last seven points from the foul line to clinch the game.
The Pacers got a boost from Malcolm Brogdon down the stretch. He delivered eight of his 21 points in the fourth frame of a competitive affair the featured 13 lead changes and seven ties.
With the loss, the Sixers dropped to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, 0.5 games behind Indiana.
Click here for a complete box score.
Things Changed When…
The Sixers, for a second game in a row, ran into problems in the second half. Their issues began in the third quarter, when they went 7-for-23 from the field overall, and 1-for-10 from 3-point territory.
The Sixers shot 52.9 percent in the fourth, but continued to have trouble outside the arc (2-7 3fg). They also committed seven turnovers and twice as many fouls as the Pacers (10 / 5) in the period.
Ben Simmons' first-half performance was a clinic in open-court rim punishment. He was in full-fledged attack mode from the jump, notching eight points in Monday's opening quarter, before returning to ignite a 21-9 run in the second that sent the Sixers into the break leading 49-40.
Prior to Monday's game, Simmons had only once previously in his career reached the 20-point mark by halftime. He exploded for 26 points in the first half of what ended up being a milestone 34-point outing Dec. 7 against Cleveland.
As we were saying, that Simmons fellow had quite the night.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 14, 2020
The 76ers will head back to the comfortable, successful confines of The Center for two games later this week. The Brooklyn Nets will be in town Wednesday, followed by a visit from the Chicago Bulls on Friday.