Markelle Fultz returns
In his first game since October, Fultz logged 14 minutes, 24 seconds and finished a plus-12. In his first stretch on the floor he attempted a couple of ill-timed jumpers over the long outstretched arms of Mason Plumlee, but the fact that he was willing to take them is a good sign. Later he exacted his revenge, making two shots over Plumee including a late-game pull up jumper. He made some impressive passes, looked comfortable coming up the floor, and was clearly not afraid to drive into traffic or make contact. He finished with 10 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.
Dario Saric comes up big
He was hitting three-pointers early on, muscling his way into the paint in the second half, and was working through contact for which he was rewarded. On a night that was full of other excitement, Saric made sure that nobody forgot that he has consistently been a reliable scorer for the Sixers. He finished the night with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Homie celebrates
The Sixers fans have been deprived of Saric celebrations for long enough. In his international play, Saric was a dancing, fist pumping, roof raising fiend, but has been mostly subdued in his celebratory moments with the Sixers. In the third quarter Saric let out a jumping fist pump that was well deserved and greatly appreciated. With the playoffs right around the corner, we can all hope that we get more of this.
Rollin' with The Homie.
Sixers making themselves known in this game as they hold a 71-64 advantage now against the Nuggets. pic.twitter.com/0yaVdEGFbN
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 27, 2018
Another big third quarter
For the fourth game in a row the Sixers used the third quarter to make significant separation against their opponent. They outscored the Nuggets 34-15 to take an 85-74 lead after trailing by as many as 10 points. Eight of the 10 players that were on the floor in the period contributed to the score including four points from Fultz. Starting the second half strong is starting to look like a trend for the Sixers, a good sign this late in the regular season.
The Sixers notched their seventh straight win on Monday night, their second seven-game win streak of the season (the other was Feb.6-24). Momentum can not be understated at this stage of the season. Win streaks will come to an end eventually, but the timing of this one is hugely important, especially with Fultz’s return. The Sixers have capitalized on their late-season schedule, and even if they don’t win out the rest of the season, are making a home-court advantage look more and more likely.