Sixers 100, Pacers 94: Dario Saric Comes to Life in 1st Road Win



The Sixers won a road game, beating Indiana, 100-94, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday.

It certainly was a well-earned victory as Victor Oladipo carried the Pacers with 36 points. But a strong third quarter - a sore spot recently - led the Sixers to a win.

The Sixers are now 7-5 overall and 1-5 on the road. 

Here are observations from the win.

• Defense and turnovers have been the Sixers' biggest issues on the road. 

They held Indiana to 94 points on just 39 percent shooting from the field.

After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, the Sixers turned the ball over just six times in the second half. Obviously a significant improvement from the 27 turnovers they committed in Brooklyn.

• Dario Saric finally looked like the player we saw at the end of last year. He had his best game of the season with 18 points on 6 of 13 from the field and 4 of 6 from three. Brett Brown has referenced Saric looking heavy-legged in a few games this season, but he looked spry Wednesday night.

With Mike Muscala out and Amir Johnson struggling in his first quarter run, Brown was forced to play Saric at the five. Saric was up for the challenge and gave the Sixers 36 good minutes overall.

• The Sixers don't win without the third-quarter efforts of Robert Covington. Covington was questionable coming into the contest with a sore lower back. He went scoreless in the first before scoring nine points in the third. He was plus-18 on the night.

He finished a nice and-one drive and hit a pair of threes.

• Markelle Fultz continues to attack the rim aggressively. This spin move was pretty.

And another authoritative finish.

He took two mid-range jumpers and both looked good – one miss, one make. The form was fine and both were in the flow of the offense. His form seems much more consistent in the mid-range than from three which makes total sense. Over time, you hope the threes look as effortless as the shots from inside the arc.

He had seven points (3 of 7) with four assists and four steals.

• Joel Embiid continues to show the NBA that no big man can cover him 1-on-1. Yet every head coach – outside of former Sixers assistant and current Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce – thinks they can get away with not doubling him.

It didn't work out well for Myles Turner on this one.

Embiid was a little quiet in the second half but finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

• It was clear Ben Simmons was in attack mode early against the slow-footed Bojan Bogdanovic. 

He worked some from the post and was more decisive and took better care of the basketball. He finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.

• Is it too early to declare Landry Shamet the steal of the NBA draft? With how banged up the team's bench has been, they needed someone to step up and Shamet has done just that. He continues to make shots and play smart basketball.

When the Sixers were looking for a 2-for-1 to end the first, Shamet delivered.

He also had his first NBA dunk.

He finished with 12 points and 3 of 6 from three.

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