PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers were not supposed to even be in the game on Monday night against the Miami Heat let alone come away with a 113-106 win. It was the second night of a back-to-back, the Heat are the No. 1 seed in the East, and the Sixers didn’t have Joel Embiid or James Harden.
Milton had 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds, and Korkmaz, who was playing his first meaningful minutes since March 5, had 18 points and six rebounds in the victory. Philadelphia doesn’t win this game without their contributions.
“I went to the gym on our last off day and they played low-minute and I was just going up there to get treatment, get some shots up, but I love watching Shake, Furk, Isaiah Joe, and those guys play. Just like I like playing all the time in it last year so I just went up there and watched and just to see them compete. Shake, Furk, Isaiah (Joe), Paul Reed, Paul Millsap, those guys competed extremely hard. I knew when their number was called, when times like this happen, I knew they were gonna be ready. Before the game, we knew James wasn’t playing and big fella wasn’t playing. We knew guys would have to step up and he was ready. He was locked in, focused, Furk as well, and they came out and they played well.”
Korkmaz gives his reaction
“It feels good. Especially to get the win like this against Miami. They had an almost full roster except (Victor) Oladipo and we know the way that they play hard. They play good defense and they try to be aggressive all night so that’s why I think today is such a huge victory.”
Korkmaz also knocked down four triples on seven attempts in the win as he was able to make a big impact.
“That feels great. I needed it. I needed this run, but losing yesterday, coming in today, our superstars are out, I think as a team, we sent a message, we set the tone from the beginning and I was also, when I get in the game, I was not shy. I just go out there and I tried to play aggressive and I think we did a great job.”
Tobias Harris on Milton
“For him, everything is just all circumstance and opportunity. In a lot of those three games, he really hasn’t had that many looks. So, for him, it’s just to stay ready and you see him tonight come out, and obviously with Joel and James not playing, he just had an opportunity, and he just took advantage of a matchup out there and he was able to get to his shots. That’s the type of player he is. He puts the work in, he’s a confident player, and very skilled to get his own shot off as well so I think his effort tonight, Furk coming in the game. He hasn’t played in a couple games as well and giving us a huge spark is what it’s all about so just guys staying ready, staying ready for the moment, and taking advantage of an opportunity.”
Milton reacts to his big game
As mentioned, Milton did not take a shot for three straight games. He ended up taking 18 on the night.
“I think being involved and trying to be aggressive. I knew we had a couple of guys who weren’t playing so really just try to get in there and be aggressive whether it be for myself or for my teammates.
Like I said, I knew who wasn’t playing and I knew I would have more of an opportunity tonight. I just tried to be ready and locked in before the game and take most of the opportunity.”
Doc Rivers on Korkmaz
“I felt good about Furk. It’s funny, when I had him go in first, my coaches were looking at me and my thing was Shake and Furk because we don’t have another guard. We needed two guys that could handle the ball at the same time and when they’re on the floor, Furk handles the ball almost as much as Shake so Shake doesn’t have the full-time duty and that’s what we were doing today.”
Rivers on Milton
“We just fell on a matchup we liked and a play we liked so we just stayed on it and we just told our guys just keep searching for it, once we got it, space the floor, attack, and at the beginning of that was Shake, then it was Tyrese, and a little bit of that was Furk, and then Tobias. Just really good that our guys had the discipline to keep looking for what we were looking for.”
Korkmaz on overcoming a tough period
“I wouldn’t say comfort. This is something I have to do every night when I get playing time. Since I knew James [Harden] wasn’t going to play tonight, I realized that I was going to get some more playing time. For me, I think it was a serious test. But the times when I didn’t play, I didn’t go home and cry about it; I did the opposite. I went to the court and worked even harder and tonight, I reaped the award for doing so.”
Heat big man Bam Adebayo on if they were thrown off by Milton and Korkmaz
“At the end of the day, you gotta respect dudes that are in the NBA. They’re in the NBA for a reason. I don’t take any matchup lightly. They were just making tough shots.”