The Sixers steal a win in Chicago without Embiid and Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers were in Chicago last night without Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. Their two All-Stars are still in health and safety protocols after coming in contact with their barber, who tested positive for COVID-19, before traveling to Atlanta to attend the All-Star game last weekend. It was a tough pill to swallow for the Sixers, who were returning after the All-Star break atop of the Eastern Conference standings with a half game lead on the Brooklyn Nets.
The Bulls entered last night with 16-18 record and were hoping to get an easy win against a Sixers team without Embiid and Simmons. The Sixers had to find a way to overcome roughly 46 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists with the absence of their two best players. Turns out, they did just that.
The Sixers defeated the Bulls 127-105 and had seven players score in double figures. Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard combined for 32 points on 15-for-19 shooting, with 17 rebounds and five blocked shots to help the Sixers leave Chicago with a win to start the second half of the season. Last night was one of the best team efforts we have seen from the Sixers in recent memory.
Tony Bradley got a rare start for the Sixers and had a fantastic game, scoring 14 points, with five rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes. Bradley made his presence felt on both ends of the court and Doc Rivers was able to keep Dwight Howard in his normal role with the bench mob. Bradley was tremendous, scoring in a variety of ways that included post-ups, offensive rebounds, and beautiful pick-and-rolls.
Joel Embiid was tuned in and had this to say about Bradley’s performance.
Bradley wasn’t the only Sixers player to outperform his normal role, as Matisse Thybulle made his presence felt on both ends of the court. Thybulle started off slow offensively, as he typically does, scoring only one basket before intermission. Defensively, Thybulle dominated the first half, recording four steals in the first five minutes of play on Thursday night. Matisse Thybulle had just as many steals as the Chicago Bulls had made shots during that span of the game. He was the primary defender on All-Star Zach LaVine, who had an off-night in general, scoring only 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting for the Bulls.
In the second half of the game, Thybulle started knocking down shots. Matisse scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, which included 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. For those keeping tabs, Bradley and Thybulle combined for 27 points on 12-of-12 shooting for the Sixers last night.
Tobias Harris started the game off slow, going 0-for-5 from the field. He was able to turn things around shortly after and finished the game with a team-leading 24 points. Harris didn’t make an actual field goal until the second quarter but was successful in getting to the line to make up for his missed shots. From there, he scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the final three quarters.
The Sixers will have a quick turnaround as they play the Washington Wizards tonight at 8 pm.
Mandatory Credit: The Philadelphia Inquirer