Even for Furkan Korkmazz himself, it will be hard to repeat what he has been doing of late. For he has been playing like a superstar starter, producing goods in the clutch situations. No wonder, teams are now making a note of his performances and are no longer comfortable in giving him space on the perimeter. At this moment, he can do no wrong. One foot twisting shot, fadeaway, side-step, and pump fake, everything he is touching is turning into gold. Other than the actors winning the Oscars, he is perhaps having the best time in his professional career.
After enjoying a career-high night with 34 points against Memphis Grizzlies, Korkmazz had a 30-point game for the second straight match as he scored a team-high 31 points and helped the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 118-111 at Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia. The 22-year-old guard made 12 of 17 field goals, converting 6 of 11 of his 3-pointers.
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Chicago Bulls made a better game than the seven-point deficit they ended with on the night. After Sixers’ massive 38-25 first quarter win, the Bulls pegged the hosts back with their aggression and better execution from the perimeter and cut the deficit down to just five points with a 30-22 second-quarter performance. The visitors remained hot in the third quarter, outscoring the Sixers 23-28 to go into the penultimate quarter with the score tied at 83-83.
But Joel Embiid is an elite clutch player, and he showed why he is once-in-a-generation kind of player for the Sixers. The 25-year-old Cameroonian started the fourth quarter with a short jumper and a dunk to put his team ahead by four points. Sixers never surrendered their lead in the game afterward. Embiid ended the game with 28 points, on 8 of 17 shooting and 12 rebounds.
That said, the uncanny and Bulls threatened a comeback and managed to shrink the lead to two points on a couple of occasions, but Tobias Harris scored a 3, with Korkmazz following with another 3-pointer and a one-handed dunk to put Sixers at 111-101 with 3:57 left in the game. Those shots ended the game.
Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 19 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds, and Harris ended with 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. For Bulls, All-Star Zach LaVine scored 32 points, with Luke Kornet adding 25 points.
With that win, the Sixers improved their home record to 24-2, league-best, and improved to 33-21 on the season. Bulls, on the other hand, fell to 19-35 and remained at 10th in the Eastern Conference power rankings.