Team Returns Home With Rout
How good are the Seventy Sixers (32-21) at home? Friday night good.
In a return to The Center that couldn't have been more timely, the Sixers delivered a most heartening drubbing of the previously surging Memphis Grizzlies (26-26), 119-107.
The win marked the 23rd in 25 tries for the Sixers in South Philadelphia, and got the club back on track following a tough 0-4 road trip that ended less than 24 hours earlier in Milwaukee.
Furkan Korkmaz was front and center for Friday's festivities, going off for a new career-high 34 points. He buried 7 of his 9 3-point attempts, becoming the second-youngest player in franchise history to knock down at least seven triples in a game.
The 22-year old's scoring output also marked the most for a Sixer reserve since Allen Iverson came off the bench for 43 points in a game in 2002.
Throughout the evening, but especially early on, Ben Simmons attacked at will. He went for 22 points (9-14 fg, 4-5 ft) and 10 assists en route to his 28th double-double of the season.
On the opposite end of the floor, the Aussie assumed a key role in containing Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant to a pedestrian 15 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
The backdrop to Friday's contest, of course, was how would the Sixers respond on the heels of a trying trek? Brett Brown was hoping to see a "maniacal competitiveness" from his group, and that's what he and a sellout crowd of 20,779 got.
Holding a 26-25 edge after a competitive first quarter, the Sixers shut Memphis down for 19 points in the second, while growing their lead to 58-44 at the break.
The strong finish to the half was only a precursor of things to come in the third, when the Sixers widened the gap to 33 points. Tobias Harris netted 11 of his 21 points (9-17 fg, 3-4 3fg) in the frame.
He and the Sixers combined to sink 53.3% of their shots, while going 14-for-25 from long range. The defense, meanwhile, limited the Grizzlies to 40.9% shooting, and a 5-for-21 effort from three.
Memphis had won 13 of its past 16 games.
Josh Richardson was back in action for the first time in seven games, logging 14 minutes off the bench (6 pts, 2 reb). Joel Embiid played 15 minutes in the first half (10 pts, 10 reb), but was sidelined for the second stanza with neck stiffnes.
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Worthy of another look.
"I just made it rain."
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 8, 2020
The 76ers' three-game homestand continues Sunday at 6:00 PM ET against the Chicago Bulls.