For the Philadelphia 76ers, playing on the road has consisted of turning the ball over too much and not shooting well from the 3-point line.
The Sixers didn’t significantly improve in either of those facets of their game Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. Still, their steady play on offense helped them take down the Indiana Pacers 100-94 to earn their first road win of the season.
What the Sixers did well was initiating their offense through Joel Embiid. As Embiid played in the post, the floor opened for the rest of the team. Philly’s star big man worked well in the post against Myles Turner early. He led the team with 20 points and shot 43.7 percent from the field.
With the Sixers being able to play through Embiid in the post, driving lanes were created; the Sixers totaled 46 points in the paint. As driving lanes appeared, 3-pointers were a bit easier to come by, too.
Sixers’ 3-point shooting vs. Pacers
The Sixers still didn’t shoot well from the 3-point line, but they finished about two percentage points higher than what their average on the road was before this game.
Dario Saric had his best game of the season, as he got cleaner looks within the offense. Saric scored a season-high 18 points and shot a season-high 66.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Landry Shamet also benefited from receiving open looks, as he shot 50 percent from 3-point range. Since Shamet moves without the ball well, he has been a solid option for the Sixers off the bench.
Though the Sixers played well inside, they faltered on offense when the Pacers defended the interior better. Philly committed 16 turnovers, right around their average per game for the season. As players drove into the lane, the Pacers clogged the paint. Embiid led the team with five turnovers, but perhaps that could be attributed to the Sixers becoming a bit too reliant on him for parts of the game.
The 24-year-old was doing so well in the post that the Sixers kept going to him, and rightfully so. The Pacers began to defend against Embiid better in the post, which messed with Philly’s spacing.
Still, the Sixers’ 16 turnovers were an improvement compared to their season-high 27 turnovers against the Brooklyn Nets.
Though the Sixers grabbed their first road win of the season, there was one other main area of concern. This came from the fact that they didn’t play well defensively in the fourth quarter.
Saric hit a 3-pointer to put them up 92-75 with about 7:30 left, but the Pacers cut away at the lead because the Sixers didn’t defend the 3-point line anywhere close to the level they did early on. Bojan Bogdanovic hit two 3-pointers and Victor Oladipo hit one as well during a 13-4 run for the Pacers.
For the Sixers, this first road win is a step in the right direction, but as the season goes on, they’ll have to continue to improve their performances when playing away from Wells Fargo Center.