Updated: 3:51 p.m.
The Sixers (14-6) will look to become the first Eastern Conference team to win 10 games at home and to stay undefeated at Wells Fargo Center this season when they play the 12-8 Utah Jazz Monday night.
Here are tonight's essentials:
When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia (NBC Sports BetCast on NBCSP+)
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
And here are three storylines to watch:
Spot starters and spot closers
Furkan Korkmaz started for the seventh time this season and had 12 points in 22 minutes Saturday vs. the Pacers, but James Ennis closed out the Sixers' 119-116 win.
“… I like him coming off the bench,” Brett Brown said of Ennis. “There's another stable veteran mind that can shoot and guard. And we go with a wild card like Furk to see what he can do with the start, surrounded by a pretty good starting five. … James has been playing well, he was playing well tonight and was rewarded with the minutes that he closed the game out with.”
As a starter, Korkmaz has averaged 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists. The Sixers are 5-2 when he starts, though Korkmaz, of course, hasn’t always closed those games.
Ennis has been playing at a high level over the past couple of weeks. He poked free an important steal with a little over a minute left Saturday, and he’s shot 14 of 25 (56 percent) from three-point range since Nov. 17.
Embiid’s shift in mentality
He insisted he had “nothing to prove” after scoring 33 points Wednesday vs. the Kings in his first game since going scoreless in Toronto, but Joel Embiid did admit Saturday night that he’s changed his approach (see story).
“Since the Toronto game I kind of changed my mindset,” he said. “The whole season I had not been as aggressive as I was last year, attempting 10 free throws a game. So the last couple games I’ve just been aggressive. Being more physical, creating contact, causing whoever’s guarding me to react to it. That’s how they fouled me.”
In the three games since playing the Raptors, Embiid has averaged 30.7 points, 14.7 rebounds and 14.7 free throw attempts. After finishing last year second in the league with 10.1 foul shots attempted per game, he’s currently fifth with 8.4.
Starters still separated
Because Ben Simmons exited early in the second quarter with a sprain of the AC joint in his right shoulder in Utah on Nov. 6, it’s difficult to take too much from the Sixers’ first meeting with the Jazz, a 106-104 loss.
The Sixers will be without another starter tonight as Josh Richardson is out because of right hamstring tightness.
The Sixers’ typical starters have still only have played 102 minutes together and have a plus-21.3 net rating. To put that in context, Utah’s starting five of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have a plus-18.8 net rating in 242 minutes together.
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