By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Sixers would hit the road after their sweep at home of the Miami Heat, heading to Memphis to face off against Ja Morant and a young Grizzlies squad. Despite an abundance of turnovers and missed free-throws, the Sixers found themselves in this game until the end.
Some mishaps down the stretch would prove to be costly, and the Grizzlies would pick up a two-point victory. Here are some grades from the nail-biting matchup.
Tobias Harris: B+
With no Joel Embiid in this game, the supporting cast would need to fill the void of the All-Star center. Although Harris would get off to a slow start, he would come up big for them down the stretch.
Harris would end the night as the team's second-leading scorer with 21 points while grabbing three rebounds and dishing two assists. On a night where the team struggled from the line, Harris was effective. He would get to the line seven times and covert on every attempt.
Turnovers were another major concern for the Sixers in this game. Harris would cough up the ball five times against the Grizzlies, including one in the team's final possession with a chance to win the game.
Harris' play down the stretch was big for the Sixers as they clawed back into the game, but the turnovers were a major blemish to his performance.
Ben Simmons: B-
The Sixers would need some extra production in this game from Simmons without Embiid in the lineup. He would thrive in some areas but would continue to struggle in one key area.
Simmons would fall an assist shy of finishing with his second straight triple-double. He would end the night with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists.
This would be a rough night shooting the ball for Simmons as he only made three of his nine attempts, but was taking shots we aren't accustomed to seeing. He would take multiple jumpers just outside the lane, and attempted two shots from deep.
The glaring concern for Simmons continues to be his turnovers. He has had a rough stretch of games taking care of the basketball. On Saturday against the Grizzlies, Simmons would give up the ball a team-high seven times.
As the guy initiating the offense, Simmons needs to get more disciplined with the ball in his hands.
Shake Milton: A
Outside of Tobias Harris, the one player who has elevated their game most under Doc Rivers is Shake Milton. He would put on another offensive showcase in this one, adding to his case for Most Improved Player and or Sixth Man of the Year.
Milton would lead the Sixers in scoring for the second straight game off the bench, dropping 28 points on an efficient 10/18 shooting. He would also fill the stat sheet in other areas, racking up three rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
In a game where the Sixers struggled on offense, Milton was a huge bright spot. He was able to score on all three levels and even got himself to line seven times. His ability to create his own offense was a big part of why the Sixers were able to stick around in this game.
This level of play is a reminder of just how deep this team when they are fully healthy. Once the original starting lineup is all back on the floor, opposing second units are going to have their hands full dealing with Milton and Tyrese Maxey.