76ers 130, Pacers 114
Shake Milton shook off a defender with a crossover that sent the 76ers into a frenzy, and Furkan Korkmaz buried 3-pointers that sent them on their way toward a romp.
This win belonged to the bench.
Milton scored 26 points, Korkmaz had 19 and the reserves sparked the Philadelphia to a win over Indiana on Monday night.
“The ball was hopping," Milton said. “Everybody was getting a feel for it.”
The Sixers followed one of their worst losses of the season to the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday with a smackdown of the mediocre Pacers. Joel Embiid had 24 points and 13 rebounds on a sore left ankle. Ben Simmons had 18 points and six rebounds.
The All-Stars got their numbers.
The reserves got their highlights.
Milton sank three 3-pointers and Korkmaz hit six 3s in a game in which they got some time, turning it into a rout.
Korkmaz and Milton blew the game open for the Sixers in the second quarter and built a 20-point lead. Korkmaz, averaging 7.6 points, and Milton 13.4, about crushed those numbers in the quarter. Milton was 4 of 6 for nine points; Korkmaz sank four 3-pointers and scored 13.
“It's what we need,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “We’re still working with that group, trying to figure out what we can run that fits us the best.”
Embiid passed out of a couple of double-teams to find Korkmaz — nicknamed both Furky and Korky, you pick — and he buried 3s that opened up a double-digit lead.
Milton — in a move that would have made Allen Iverson proud — hit a crossover on Myles Turner that left him stumbling toward the basket. Milton buried the 21-footer that sent the bench into a towel-waving frenzy. Public address announcer Matt Cord even chuckled when he said Milton’s name for the basket.
Matched up mostly against Embiid, the bad night continued for Turner when he was roasted by Embiid.
“I say this respectfully, but that’s a matchup I’ve dominated since I got to the league,” Embiid said.
Milton hit fellow reserve Matisse Thybulle on an alley-oop and found Embiid for an 11-footer to give the Sixers a 72-55 lead at the break. The Sixers' bench scored 26 of their 39 points in the second and made five of their six 3s.
The Pacers had no answers.
“When a bad play happens, we can't let it snowball and let it affect other things that we do,” Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren said.
The Sixers, who still have the best record in the East at 23-12, were stunned by the Cavs in OT on Saturday. Rivers said the Sixers treated that one like a “walkthrough.”
They woke up against a Pacers team that has lost four straight games. Malcolm Brogdon returned from a one-game absence because of a sore right knee and led the Pacers with 20 points.
“This is not a losing team or a losing culture,” Brogdon said. “This is not what we’re used to.”
The 76ers’ Tobias Harris, who averages 20.2 points, sat out a second straight game with a bruised right knee. He could return for Wednesday's game against Utah.
The Pacers’ Doug McDermott left the game with a broken tooth. Jeremy Lamb sat out with a sore left knee.
Pennsylvania eased restrictions Monday on large gatherings to reflect a sustained slide in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The Wells Fargo Center said it would quickly allow fans into Flyers and 76ers games if city officials give the go-ahead. Under the relaxed gathering limits announced by Gov. Tom Wolf, indoor occupancy will be 15% of maximum capacity, regardless of venue size.
“We want to see our fans here,” Rivers said. “We have proven here in Philadelphia that it is a home court. Our fans are phenomenal. We need them here. It would be awesome in the second half of the season if we could have fans. It could really boost us.”
Pelicans 129, Jazz 124
Zion Williamson had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and New Orleans Pelicans off a late Utah charge to beat the NBA-leading Jazz.
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Lonzo Ball added 23 and JJ Redick had 17, highlighted by a pair of four-point plays on 3-pointers as he was fouled.
Bojan Bogdanovic hit seven 3s and finished with a game-high 31 points for Utah (27-8), which lost for just the eighth time this season, but the second time in three games.
New Orleans led by 14 with 3:54 left but had to survive the Jazz cutting their deficit to a point in the final minute.
Nuggets 118, Bulls 112
Nikola Jokic dominated with 39 points and 14 rebounds, and Denver beat Chicago.
Jokic scored 17 in the fourth quarter to help the Nuggets come away with the win after blowing a 15-point lead. He finished with nine assists, just missing his 50th career triple-double.
Jamal Murray scored 24. Michael Porter Jr. added 17 points and 15 rebounds, and the Nuggets won for the third time in four games.
All-Star Zach LaVine led Chicago with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Coby White added 20 points and 10 rebounds, but the Bulls lost their second straight after winning three in a row.
Mavericks 130, Magic 124
Luka Doncic had 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, Kristaps Porzingis played a nearly flawless second half and Dallas defeated Orlando.
Jalen Brunson scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half as the Mavericks broke open a close game. Dallas has won four of its last five and nine of 12.
Nikola Vucevic had 29 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Magic, who dropped their fourth straight.
Cavaliers 101, Rockets 90
Collin Sexton scored 39 points and Cleveland handed hapless Houston its 12th straight loss.
The Cavaliers have won four straight after losing their previous 10 games.
It’s Houston’s longest losing streak since dropping 15 in a row in 2001, and the first time the Rockets have lost five straight at home since March 2006. John Wall’s performance was the only thing that kept the Rockets in this one. He had 23 points by halftime finished with a season-high 32.
Trail Blazers 123, Hornets 111
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Damian Lillard had 23 points and 10 assists and Portland snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Charlotte.
Robert Covington had a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who got off to a sluggish start but led by as many as 19 points in the final quarter.
Portland finished with a franchise-record 24 3-pointers, led by Lillard and Anthony with six apiece.
LaMelo Ball had 30 points for the Hornets, who have not won in Portland since March 2008. The Blazers are 25-6 against Charlotte in Portland.
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