PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The 76ers made a trade for a pair of outside shooters to help make a deep run in the playoffs. Turns out, the player they needed might have been there the whole time.
Furkan Korkmaz topped 30 points for the second straight contest with 31, Joel Embiid had 28 points and 12 rebounds and Philadelphia beat the Chicago Bulls 118-111 on Sunday night to improve their NBA-best home record to 24-2.
Korkmaz made 12 of 17 field goals, going six of 11 on three-pointers. He stayed hot after netting a career-high 34 points in Friday’s 119-107 home win over Memphis in which he drained 13 of 17 shot and was seven of nine on three-pointers.
“I’m just trying to play my best basketball, and my strongest part of my game is shooting,” he said.
The 76ers acquired wings Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks at the trade deadline. Although it appears otherwise, Korkmaz said it’s just a coincidence that he’s had the best two games of his career on back-to-back nights since the trade.
“It’s not really about that,” he said. “It’s just trying to help the team on the court. I’m trying to put the team first. I’m really happy I’m helping my teammates.”
Ben Simmons added 19 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for the 76ers.
Zach LaVine scored 32 points and Luke Kornet added 25 for the short-handed Bulls, who have lost five straight.
“I thought we played hard, I thought we played together, I thought we got a lot from a lot of guys,” Bulls coach Jim
Boylen said. “They’ve got a good basketball team.”
Embiid put Philadelphia ahead for good early in the fourth, breaking a tie to start the period with a short jumper and follow dunk that made it 87-83 with 11 minutes left. The 76ers kept the lead the rest of the way – although it wasn’t exactly easy against the plucky and undermanned Bulls.