Furkan Korkmaz reacts to tying for 8th on 3-pointers list in Sixers history

Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz reacts to tying for 8th in 3-pointers made in franchise history.

The story surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers in Tuesday’s 117-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans will be the continued stellar play of Joel Embiid as well as the offensive help of Tobias Harris, but Furkan Korkmaz made a little history.

Korkmaz had 13 points in the win and he knocked down two triples. That gave him 357 for his career which tied Hollis Thompson for 8th on Philadelphia’s all-time 3-pointers list. Considering everything Korkmaz has been through, this is a good accomplishment for him to be a part of Philadelphia’s storied history.

“It feels good,” said Korkmaz. “It’s been a long journey in this city, in this organization, a lot of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I feel like Philly’s my home. That’s why for me, it’s really important to be in that place, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter as long as we win, we work together.”

There have been a lot of great players to play for the Sixers in their history. For Korkmaz to be mentioned in Philadelphia’s history is a big accomplishment for him as a young shooter.

“It’s good to be in the Sixers’ history, you know?” Korkmaz finished. “It’s huge for us. It’s huge for me.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Cade Cunningham put up a stat line no rookie has had since Michael Jordan

Cunningham on Tuesday produced a career-high and finished with a stat line no rookie has put up since Michael Jordan.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham on Tuesday produced a career-high 34 points and finished with a stat line no rookie has put up since Michael Jordan.

Cunningham also recorded eight rebounds, eight assists, four blocked shots and two steals in 40 minutes of work during the 110-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He went 14-of-26 from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

The No. 1 pick joined Jordan as the only two rookies in NBA history to record at least 30 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four blocks in a single game. He is also the sixth Pistons rookie ever to reach 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in a game.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey liked his production on offense.

The way he was seeing the floor, passing the ball, finding other people. We have to make shots when he does that, but you have to have a guy like that who can get his own shot no matter who is on him. They were trying to semi-blitz him and keep him from turning the corner — he figured that out. He really gave it to us on the offensive end, especially in the second half down the stretch.

Cunningham recorded 19 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter, to help the Pistons stay in the contest. Behind his clutch play, the Pistons managed to cut the deficit to three points but were unable to get any closer.

The 20-year-old was tasked with running the offense for the Pistons for much of the final period. He made very mistakes down the stretch and was a big reason why the Pistons were alive with his decision-making and scoring ability.

Cunningham feels like he has made huge strides with running the offense.

I think more than anything, it has been about making my mind up about what I’m trying to do before the play presents itself. Now I’m just reading the play as it comes, being more disciplined about my reads and I think we’re getting better outcomes. My teammates, when they are aggressive and everybody is getting their shot off, we’re a lot tougher to guard.

Cunningham has proven this season that he is capable of leading the Pistons and filling up the stat sheet on a nightly basis. He has also locked in on the defensive end of the floor at times and has shown great potential on that end of the floor.

After missing time to begin the season due to injury, Cunningham is off and running with the Pistons. He is showcasing why he was the No. 1 pick and has his name firmly in the mix as a Rookie of the Year front-runner, as a result.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Joel Embiid, Sixers give praise to Tobias Harris after win over Pelicans

The Philadelphia 76ers give praise to Tobias Harris for his contributions against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Philadelphia 76ers received a big game out of Joel Embiid in order to knock off the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, but they probably don’t win the game without Tobias Harris and his contributions on the offensive end.

After a slow start to the game, Harris finished with 33 points on 12-for-19 shooting, 3-for-3 from deep, and he had 11 rebounds. This was a really good game for him and he gave Embiid some much-needed help. It would have been a shame to see the team waste 42 points from the big fella.

“He was great,” said Embiid of Harris. “It is not about just this game. The last couple games, he’s been finding his spots, and getting back to what he is. Like I said, we’re gonna need that every game from him. He’s been excellent.”

Harris had a big impact in the second quarter as he scored 15 points in the frame. His offense kept the Sixers in it as it looked like the Pelicans would pull away a bit.

“After the first quarter, we kinda just were flat out there,” said Harris. “I just thought that when I was out there with the second group, just try to pick up the energy for the whole group and be able to create some good ball movement. Swing-swing for some shots, some didn’t fall, some did, but once we did get a few to fall, that just led to a domino effect.”

Harris is a guy that likes to play with pace and be able to use his size and speed to be able to get easy looks. The work in the second quarter allowed Philadelphia to get into a groove and help Harris get going a bit.

“We had more pace to our offense,” Harris added. “We had a little bit more spark to us. For me, I was just finding ways to get to my spots out there. Teammates creating good passes for me to make good shots. It’s just an overall thing.”

For coach Doc Rivers, it’s simple: Harris made quick decisions rather than try dancing with the ball.

“Just quicker stuff, quicker decisions,” said Rivers. “When he does it, he has the size and speed advantage. When he doesn’t do it, he allows guys to get into his body, get their hand on the ball, it’s just so night and day when he does it. He’s doing it more. He’s been doing it more the last four or five games, you can feel him getting back to the pace of last year which is important for us.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Sixers in awe of Joel Embiid after big performance to beat Pelicans

The Philadelphia 76ers were in awe of Joel Embiid after another huge performance in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Philadelphia 76ers were able to rally and escape with a 117-107 win over the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night to begin a 5-game homestand. The team trailed by as many as 10 and they were able to quickly turn things around in order to win by the same amount.

The Sixers were able to do so because Joel Embiid decided that enough was enough. He had 18 points at halftime with Philadelphia down by eight, but he was able to erupt in the second half and he finished with 42 points and 14 rebounds in order to lead the Sixers to the win.

“Just his dominance is huge for us,” said Tobias Harris. “As a whole, as a group, what he brings to this team tonight and you even seen tonight, he’s fighting every game and he’s going out there and try to do whatever he can to help the team win. He’s playing in all the games, too. He’s going. It’s a long season and we have a lot of games, but that’s a big guy out there to play like a guard. The moves he makes, the plays that he makes out there is really impressive.”

Even to begin the third quarter, Embiid scored the first 10 points before Furkan Korkmaz knocked down a triple to break his streak. The big fella was just dominant as the Pelicans didn’t have an answer.

“Overall, I think they couldn’t guard him,” laughed Korkmaz. “You don’t need to be so smart to say that, but whenever he has the ball, it feels like he knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t rush, he reads the game, he reads the floor, especially in the second half, he knows that we expect some push from him so we gotta go with him. I think in the second half, he was the one that set the tone.”

Embiid also led a big defensive second half that helped the Sixers get it done. After New Orleans shot 52.3% and 6-for-12 from deep in the first half to lead it 58-50, Philadelphia held the Pelicans to 43.6% shooting and 49 points after halftime.

“He’s a great player,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I think that’s the best way to describe it. A great player playing really well, really focused, being a great leader for our guys. At halftime, he was the first guy who raised his hand and said ‘It’s on me, it’s on me. I gotta play better defense to get us better’, he’s just been very good. It’s great for me.”

The biggest example for Embiid was Pelicans big man Willy Hernangomez only scored eight points after halftime. This comes after he scored 21 in the first half.

“Just being aggressive,” said Embiid. “Getting to the ball on their guards, pressuring them. I think it was just about being aggressive because in the first half, everything was easy for them. They were able to get to their spots so we did a better job in the second half.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Rockets’ Daishen Nix named G League Player of the Week

Nix on Tuesday was named the G League Player of the Week with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Houston Rockets rookie Daishen Nix on Tuesday was named the NBA G League Player of the Week with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the league announced.

Nix, who is signed to a two-way contract after going undrafted, averaged 27.5 points, seven rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game as the Vipers went 3-1 on the week. He shot 56.9% from the field, including 50% from 3-point range.

He has spent much of the season in a developmental role with the Vipers after only appearing in eight games with the Rockets. On the season, he is averaging 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals in 19 games with the Vipers.

Nix was recently commended by Rockets head coach Stephen Silas for the way he has developed and gotten better throughout the season. He has transformed his body and the results are showing this season in the G League.

With the Rockets in a rebuilding effort, Nix could carve out a larger role with additional improvement. The team is certainly happy with the early showing by Nix and it could eventually lead to more reps in the NBA.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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‘It should be remembered as a victory:’ Patrick Reed says controversial drop shouldn’t overshadow Farmers Insurance Open win

“At the end of the day the rules officials said we did nothing wrong.”

SAN DIEGO, Cali. – Patrick Reed knew the question was coming.

He knew he’d have to address his controversial drop from an embedded lie in the third round of last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, especially given his checkered past that included his complaints about not playing with Jordan Spieth in the 2018 Ryder Cup and his incident in a bunker in the 2019 Hero World Challenge when he improved his lie before hitting his shot, a two-stroke penalty later assessed.

So, back to the South Course in the third round last year. Reed had taken his golf ball out of the embedded lie in the rough left of the fairway on the 10th hole before calling for an official to get relief. Video of the incident was not kind, and social media lit up and afterward, Xander Schauffele said of the matter, “The talk amongst the boys isn’t great, I guess.”

PGA Tour rules officials said Reed did nothing wrong and no penalty was issued. Reed went on to roll to a 5-shot victory at 14 under, but the episode overshadowed his triumph.

Patrick Reed Farmers Insurance Open
Patrick Reed poses with the winner’s trophy following the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course – South Course. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

“It should be remembered as a victory,” Reed said Tuesday ahead of his title defense beginning Wednesday. “At the end of the day the rules officials said we did nothing wrong. When you have rules officials that come out and say that, as well, as you sit there and they’re able to go by the book and go by the rules and you don’t do anything wrong with that and there’s no real discussion about it, you go out there and play the best I can and do everything I’m supposed to and win the golf tournament.”

That’s how World No. 1 Jon Rahm sees it.

“We’re talking about one instance. He did win by five, right?” Rahm said. “So he played better than everybody else by quite a bit. Talking about an instance where only he knows what happened. I’m in no room to judge. As far as I’m concerned, he is the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open champion and he did it by five.

“It was great playing the whole week.”

When asked if the noise that follows him around will darken his legacy, Reed, 31, said he can just be who he is and keep moving on.

“The only thing I can do is keep on moving forward, keep trying to get the best I can on the golf course and handle myself how I feel like I’m supposed to off the golf course, whether it’s with my peers, whether it’s at home, whether it’s out on the road or anything like that,” he said. “As long as I feel like I’m doing the right things, all of it will take care of itself.”

Following the win, Reed’s year went off the rails. He didn’t add to his PGA Tour victory haul of nine and had just six more top 10s in 29 starts in 2021. After reaching No. 9 in the world early in 2021, he slipped to his present ranking of 26th.

He battled pneumonia in the summer and wasn’t selected to the Ryder Cup as a captain’s pick. He also was working on swing changes.

Check the yardage, Torrey Pines (South) | Tee times, TV info

“I really think the biggest thing is anytime you can win on the PGA Tour throughout a year, it’s a good year,” Reed said. “Obviously to be a little bit more consistent, have more chances to win than one, that’s what turns it into a great year. I felt like last year was a good year for me. I didn’t feel it was my best, but really allowed me to sit down and kind of reflect on the things I did well.

“There are also things I need to change, and I feel like making that swing change and working with David Leadbetter and really locking in on that golf swing is something I need to do for the long term, and I feel like it’s going to pay dividends later on. I’m really looking forward to this year, especially coming on right now where I start feeling a little bit more comfortable with things that we’re working on.

“With that being said, just the confidence is through the roof because of that.”

And he’s in a good place. He’s finished in ties for 13th and sixth and won last year in his most recent three starts in the Farmers.

“I love this golf course,” he said. “It’s one of those golf courses where you really have to think your way around this place. It’s not just set up and hit driver and just attack. You actually have to have a pretty good game plan going into this place. I feel like I do better at harder golf courses and places you have to think around because it gets me more involved and more engaged in the golf shots.”

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Injury update: Matisse Thybulle to return, start for Sixers vs. Pelicans

The Philadelphia 76ers will have Matisse Thybulle return against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia 76ers will get a bit healthier on Tuesday when they begin a 5-game homestand when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans. While the Pelicans will be missing the likes of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and other starters, the Sixers will welcome a starter back to the lineup.

Matisse Thybulle will return on Tuesday after missing five games due to a right shoulder sprain he suffered on Jan. 14 against the Boston Celtics. Thybulle is one of the league’s elite defenders so this will be a big help for Philadelphia to get him reacclimated before a matchup with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

As for the rest of the lineup, Seth Curry is still out with left ankle soreness so Furkan Korkmaz will start in his place. They will join Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid.

This will be an opportunity for Philadelphia to build some momentum. The Sixers will need to take advantage of this one on Tuesday to keep climbing up the standings in the East.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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For Brandon Moreno, Deiveson Figueiredo rivalry remains unsettled: ‘A fourth fight is needed’

Former UFC champion Brandon Moreno calls for a fourth fight with Deiveson Figueiredo, says rivalry is unfinished.

Now a few days removed from the trilogy bout against Deiveson Figueiredo, [autotag]Brandon Moreno[/autotag]’s feelings remain the same.

The Mexican star wants nothing other than a fourth title fight with Figueiredo (21-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) following their clash in the co-main event of this past Saturday’s UFC 270 in Anaheim, Calif.

In a competitive, back-and-forth fight that won the card’s “Fight of the Night” award, Moreno (19-6-2 MMA, 7-3-2 UFC) lost his UFC flyweight belt, coming up short 48-47 across all three judges’ scorecards. The result put the record between them even, as they first fought to a draw at UFC 256 in 2020, and then Moreno won their second meeting via submission at UFC 263 in 2021.

Moreno feels there’s unfinished business with his rival and wants to put an end to the series to determine who’s the better fighter.

“I want my manager to push for the fourth fight; that’s all I want right now,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I don’t want anything else. Obviously if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be pissed. I’ll say whatever I’ll say, and then the next day I’ll be focused on the opponent. But for me, it’s very clear what I want – I want the fourth fight.

“I want to fight Deiveson, and I want to finish this. I want there to be a clear winner in all of this.”

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This was the first trilogy in UFC history that went down in consecutive fights for both opponents. Moreno knows an immediate fourth fight puts other contenders on ice, and that’s why he’s open for a quick return in late spring.

“I’m willing to fight him in May or June so we don’t clog up the division and we have a finality to this,” Moreno said. “The balance is even, and this is caused by the draw in the first fight. If it wasn’t for that, we probably would’ve had a winner by now. A fourth fight is needed to close it out. Like I said, I’m willing to fight quick so we don’t clog up the division and have a solution to this.”

Like many watching from home and in the arena, Moreno thought he did enough to best Figueiredo. He understands it was a close fight and gives credit to the Brazilian for adjusting in the trilogy, but he feels the judges got the decision wrong.

Moreno feels he’s changed Figueiredo as a fighter throughout this trilogy. He doesn’t think “Deus da Guerra” is the fighter he used to be.

“What got him to the top is not there – at least with me,” Moreno explained. “He’s not the bully. He’s not the aggressive man that looks for the knockout. That’s gone. That’s what I saw from this fight. All that is gone. I saw a guy that respected me a lot, and like you mentioned, he was smart and knew how to play his cards.

“The series is tied because the first fight basically doesn’t count because it was a draw. I finished him in one fight, and he won the other in a somewhat questionable decision. If his evolution was just strategy, that’s the easiest part to solve in a fourth fight. It’s so strange how MMA works and how things develop. It seems that’s what’s next for us. Even if he doesn’t want it, and he’s mentioning (Kai) Kara-France, I think the division and the UFC wants this to truly be over, for it to be a clear 2-1 to end the story.”

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2022 Farmers Insurance Open fantasy golf power rankings, odds and picks

The field at Torrey Pines is loaded and ready to take on one of the toughest tests in golf.

In most minds, this is the week the golf season starts. The PGA Tour is back at Torrey Pines, a venue that saw two champions last season. Patrick Reed won the Farmers Insurance Open, while Jon Rahm took home the U.S. Open trophy in June.

The aforementioned World No. 1 enters the week as the betting favorite sitting at +650. Justin Thomas, who we haven’t seen since the Sentry Tournament of Champions, follows behind at +1300.

The field will play both the North and South courses in the first two rounds before both weekend rounds will take place on the South Course.

Twilight 9 Farmers Insurance preview podcast | Farmers Insurance best bets

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds a full list. Listed in no particular order.

Fantasy golf top 10

Jon Rahm (+650)

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm watches his ball after teeing off on hole one of the Pete Dye Stadium Course during the final round of The American Express at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022.

It’s no secret this place means a lot to Rahm. First major win, first PGA Tour win, among other things. Coming off a decent week in the desert where he wasn’t too happy about the setup, he’ll get the challenge he’s begging for this week at Torrey.

Will Zalatoris (+3000)

Zalatoris played well at the Farmers last year finishing tied for 7th. He tends to step up his game at tougher golf courses, and his ball-striking ability should keep him in the hunt despite his moody putter.

Xander Schauffele (+1500)

The San Diego native has had an up and down relationship with this event but played well at both Torrey Pines events last year: T-2 at the Farmers, T-7 at the U.S. Open. His last start on Tour was the Sentry TOC where he finished solo 12th.

Tony Finau (+2000)

Finau is second to only Rahm in cumulative scoring at the Farmers since 2017 (Rahm -51, Finau -46). His worst finish at the Farmers is T-24 (2015) and has since signed for four T-6 performances or better.

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Maverick McNealy

McNealy is off to a great start this season with five finishes of T-27 or better. He doesn’t have a long resume at the Farmers Insurance Open, however, he’s two for three making the weekend including a top-20 finish in 2020 (T-29 in 2018).

Bryson DeChambeau (+2000)

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the third hole during the second round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

The longest player on Earth at one of the longest, toughest courses on the PGA Tour schedule? This pick speaks for itself. And if you forgot, DeChambeau was leading the U.S. Open on Sunday before shooting 1,000 on the back-nine.

Luke List (+8000)

His last four starts at the Farmers, starting in 2018: T-12, T-40, T-36, and T-10. In his last seven starts on Tour: five starts of T-22 or better. AKA: He’s playing really good golf and is headed to a venue where he feels comfortable.

Ryan Palmer (+7000)

He missed the cut at the US Open last year, but at the Farmers, Palmer has finished T-21 or better in four consecutive starts (including 2 runner-ups).

Sungjae Im (+3000)

Im played well in the desert, eventually tying for 11th. He doesn’t have a statement finish at Torrey but has made the cut in all four appearances at the venue.

Marc Leishman (+3000)

The Aussie loves him some Torrey Pines. He won the event in 2020, finished in the top 20 last season, and had a top 10 back in 2018. Leishman already has three top 10s this season.

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NBA unveils new format for Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend

The NBA on Tuesday unveiled a new format for the annual Rising Stars game set to take place on Feb. 18 in Cleveland.

On Tuesday, the NBA unveiled a new format for the annual Rising Stars game set to take place on Feb. 18 as part of All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio.

The showcase game will feature four seven-player teams competing in a mini-tournament consisting of three games. Each game will be played to a final target score, meaning that a game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of a running clock.

The pool of 28 players for the game will consist of 12 first-year players, 12 second-year players and four players from the NBA G League Ignite. The rookies and sophomores will be selected by assistant coaches and the Ignite players will be chosen by G League head coaches.

The teams will be coached by members of the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team. The coaches will select their rosters in a Rising Stars draft with each team consisting of seven players, including one from the Ignite.

The semifinal games will be played to a final target score of 50 with the final game being played to 25, for a total of 75 points across the semifinal and final to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season. The details of the coaches and draft will be announced at a later date.

In addition, a timed shooting competition will take place during the evening. A total of eight NBA and Ignite players will be divided into four teams of two and compete to make shots from five locations on the court tied to iconic shots made in the playoffs.

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The Rising Stars game was canceled last year after the NBA opted to hold each All-Star Weekend event all on March 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league still announced rosters for the event to recognize those players deserving of the honor.

TNT will televise the Rising Stars game beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

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