Sixers 118, Knicks 101: Dario Saric leads the way, Markelle Fultz shoots free throws and other quick observations

Dario Saric for the win

He put his blood, sweat, and body into beating the Knicks on Wednesday. He finished with a 26-point, 14-rebound double-double and went a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line while dishing out five assists. Even though he was the leading scorer of the night, it was a play that won’t show up in the box score that was his most impactful. He threw himself at a loose ball, swatting it toward Ben Simmons for the score, and came up from the scramble, bleeding and celebrating.

Joel Embiid goes out after collision

Markelle Fultz and Embiid’s head collided at the start of the second quarter and the big man went down. After heading to the locker room he was ruled out for the rest of the game. And then the Sixers lost their composure. Over the next 10 minutes the Sixers went from having a 16-point lead to trailing by one point — against the New York Knicks. Amir Johnson did not play because of flu-like symptoms so the Sixers had to use a lot more Richaun Holmes than they had planned on with Dario Saric and Ersan Ilaysova there for relief minutes. But the Sixers took a breather and were able to come back and create a double-digit lead in the third quarter.

Markelle Fultz shoots free throws

On Wednesday Fultz made his first trip to the free throw line since Oct. 21 when he went 4-of-8 against from the charity stripe in his third NBA game, a loss to Toronto. It would be generous to say his shot did not look good on that day. With 2:47 on the clock in the third quarter against New York Fultz stepped up to the free throw line for two shots. He made his first then missed the second shot. There was still a noticeable hitch in his shot but it was nowhere near as bad as it was. This means one thing, and it’s really the most important thing when it comes to Fultz — there’s progress. He is on the court, he wasn’t afraid to play through contact, and his shot looks better than it did. For a 19-year-old who hadn’t played in a game in over five months, progress is all you can ask for.