By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The second half of the regular season is officially underway for the Sixers. They would have their first game back since the All-Star break on Thursday night in a matchup with the Chicago Bulls.
Due to health and safety protocols, the Sixers would be without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in this one. Despite the absence of their All-Stars, the supporting cast would not rollover. Seven different players would break double-figures en route to the Sixers picking up a 127-105 victory over the Bulls.
Tobias Harris would be called upon to lead the charge, and he would deliver. After missing his first five shots, he did a great job of locking in. Harris ended up shooting 8/10 from the floor after the cold spell to start and would be the team's leading scorer with 24 points.
The star of the night for the Sixers would be Tony Bradley. He would start at center in place of Embiid and would make the most of the opportunity. Bradley would rack up 14 points on perfect 7/7 shooting from the floor.
His defense would be a boost as well, coming down with five rebounds and blocking three shots. For a guy that has not gotten consistent minutes this season, Bradley has always done a good job of staying prepared and playing well when given the chance.
When these two teams met the first time, Matisse Thybulle's defense was a key factor that led to the Sixers picking up the win. The second time around Thybulle would put on a similar defensive showcase. His defense was a large part of Zach LaVine finishing this game with just 19 points.
On top of his stellar defense on LaVine, Thybulle would tie his career-high with five steals. His strong play on defense would carry over to the other side of the floor as well. Thybulle would step out and hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and would finish the game with 13 points.
Before the All-Star break, the Sixers' second unit had strung some solid performances together after weeks of struggling. The momentum would carry over after the break and would be much needed as the Sixers would need to find scoring from somewhere.
When all was said and done, the Sixers would have 55 bench points, outscoring the Bull's bench by 22. The two main standouts from the second unit would be Furkan Korkmaz (13 points, 4 assists) and Dwight Howard who finished with a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds).
Coming out of the break the Sixers would be looking to hit the ground running, and they did just that in this victory. Picking up a blowout victory in a game without both of your star players says a lot about the fight in this team. The togetherness they showed in this win spoke volumes to the continuity within this group.
The Sixers will have a short turnaround as they will be back in action tomorrow night, facing off against Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards. They could potentially have some reinforcements as Joel Embiid could potentially clear protocol.