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Game Recap | Fultz Leads Strong Final Stateside Pre-Season Appearance


During the early weeks of the 76ers’ (2-0) pre-season, much of the talk surrounding Markelle Fultz has been that of a promising player with emboldened confidence.

In Monday’s 120-114 victory over the Orlando Magic (0-1), that quality was on full display, and was manifested in the 20-year old’s willingness to shoot.

Whether it was the multiple corner threes attempted in the first quarter (one of which he made), or a smooth pick-and-roll 15-footer in the third frame, Fultz’s stroke was on point.

The 2017 no. 1 pick finished the evening with a Sixers Twitter-pleasing 5 for 12 effort from the field (one shot was a half-court desperation heave that fell just short at the first-half buzzer). Nine of his attempts were of the pull-up variety.

“That’s what I work on in practice and I work on game-like shots that I think I’ll be getting like driving mid-range, corner shots, lay-ups, shots that I’m going to shoot in the game,” said Fultz. “[It’s been] just a long, long summer of just putting up game-like shots, so I was prepared.”

Fultz notched 12 points, while adding six rebounds, one assist, and a really impressive block on Orlando veteran D.J. Augustin. He started for the second time in as many exhibition outings.

As for the rest of the team, Joel Embiid again played well, especially at the outset of Monday’s tilt. He had his way on the interior, en route to totaling 21 points and seven boards.

Ben Simmons chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a game-best plus-14 rating.

The Sixers never trailed in their last preseason appearance in the States. They dominated the glass (48-35), surrendered just five offensive rebounds, and converted 30 of 36 free throws.

Click here for a complete box score.

Notable Nuggets:

1. Shamet Strong

With injuries to Wilson Chandler (left hamstring) and Jerryd Bayless (left knee), there were minutes to be had off the bench, and it was worth noting that Landry Shamet was the first person Brett Brown turned to when starter Robert Covington needed a spell. Shamet, the 26th pick in this past year’s draft, checked in with five minutes to go in the first quarter, and proceeded to provide productive, composed minutes. His shot was smooth (the Wichita State product went 3-6 fg, 2-4 3fg for 12 points in 19 minutes), he held his own defensively against some of Orlando’s more seasoned players (like Jonathan Simmons, D.J. Augustin, and even Aaron Gordon at times), and looked comfortable interchanging between the two and three positions.

2. Korkmaz Contributes, Too

To have watched Furkan Korkmaz play basketball this past summer, whether at summer league in Las Vegas, or on the international FIBA circuit, was to have known the 21-year old Turk was capable of catching fire quick. Like Landry Shamet, Korkmaz too was the beneficiary of extra minutes that were available among the Sixers’ reserves. The wing man racked up 18 points on 6 for 8 shooting (3-5 3fg) in less than 19 minutes.

“Every day, I feel like I’m getting better, getting more experience,” said Korkmaz. “For me, it’s real fun to play with these guys around me. This summer was a very good experience also for me. I just need to keep growing. Everybody knows what I can do on offense. Especially I need to show more on defense. I want to be in the rotation.”

3.Lookin High, Lookin Low

Through two pre-season games, the Sixers have backed up some of the foreshadowing Brett Brown did prior to training camp by setting up Ben Simmons in the post (having another ball handler on the floor a la Markelle Fultz helps). So far, the results have been productive, and a reflection of a potential growth area for the reigning Rookie of the Year.

‘Gram of the Game:

New gig, same fan fav.

Up Next:

Immediately following Monday’s match-up with the Orlando Magic, it’s across the country and over the Pacific Ocean the Sixers will go, making the 7,300-mile charter flight to Shanghai. The club will stay in the city through Friday, when they open the annual NBA China Games series against the Dallas Mavericks. The two clubs will square off again next Monday in Shenzhen.


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