The 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak with Friday’s win over the surging Memphis Grizzlies, a team that had won 13 of its previous 16 games. Here are three storylines from the 119-107 win:
Is it as simple as playing at home for the Sixers to turn back into the team many had envisioned? For now it certainly appears that way.
The Sixers are 23-2 at home and 9-19 on the road. They simply feed off the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. And even though things didn’t start out great on Friday, the Sixers were able to eventually get things going. For instance, the Sixers were outscored on fast break points, 18-2, in the first half. Yet they led 58-44 at intermission and were never challenged in the second half.
The Sixers were able to play through their mistakes and be more comfortable. And even though Memphis enjoyed early success on the break, the Sixers were able to shut them down in all other areas.
Korkmaz had 26 points before the third quarter ended and finished with a career-high 34 points on 13-for-17 shooting, including 7-of-9 from three. This season he has scored 15 or more points 11 times. The Sixers are 9-2 in those games.
The problem with Korkmaz has been his inconsistency. Can he be that person the Sixers can rely on off the bench in the postseason? The jury is still out.
He has a perimeter skill that the Sixers clearly need, but there have been ups and downs.
For instance, during the recent four-game road losing streak, Korkmaz shot 27.8 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range.
Will Korkmaz eventually settle into being a more consistent player? That is one of the questions that need to be answered in the final 29 games.
Few all-stars are scrutinized as much as Ben Simmons. During Thursday’s 112-101 loss at Milwaukee, Simmons attempted just six shots, making five of them. He had a solid all-around game, but the Sixers need more than six field goal attempts (and four free throw attempts) from him.
Simmons was his more aggressive self in the win over Memphis. He took the ball to the basket with authority and led the Sixers as they pulled away in the third quarter with Joel Embiid on the bench. Embiid sat out the second half with neck stiffness.
In fairness, Simmons was assertive with Embiid on the court. Simmons had 16 first half points. The key is for Simmons to go out every game and want to dominate. He has the skill to do it even without a jump shot.