The 76ers rebounded from Friday’s 101-94 loss at New Orleans to win 117-93 at Oklahoma City on Saturday. Even without injured starters Tobias Harris and Danny Green, the Sixers had more than enough against the overmatched Thunder.
Here are three reasons for the win.
Embiid’s regained shooting touch and defensive presence
This was Joel Embiid’s fourth game back since he missed 10 games with a left knee bone bruise and the first time he shot at least 50% from the field. Thunder centers Moses Brown and ex-Sixer Tony Bradley, along with the rest of the Thunder defense, had no answers for Embiid.
While he still hasn’t regained his three-point touch, Embiid was unstoppable down low. Here, Embiid takes Bradley to school on this turnaround jumper.
Embiid, who shot 10-for-17 and scored 27 points, was just as effective on the other end of the court, recording four blocked shots, including this rejection of a Darius Bazley drive.
What’s more important is that on the second game of a back-to-back, he didn’t have to play in the fourth quarter as the Sixers had the game in hand. Embiid played 27 minutes, 14 seconds.
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Korkmaz’s big night
With Green out, Furkan Korkmaz earned his sxith start of the season. He finished with a season-high 20 points and shot 4-for-10 from three-point range.
Here, he turned defense into offense.
Korkmaz has been streaky this season, but he has played well during this road trip, having scored in double figures all three games. He also contributed a career-high five steals in a strong all-around effort.
Ben’s early aggressiveness
Ben Simmons set the tone early by coming out aggressive offensively in the first quarter. He shot 4-for-5 and made 2-of-3 foul shots for 10 points. The Sixers took a 37-25 lead after one quarter and never looked back.
While Simmons only took four shots after the first quarter, the one he made was this jumper from just inside the foul line.
It’s often been said that Simmons doesn’t have to shoot threes, but taking (and making) even medium-range jumpers will open the court up for him and his teammates.