For most of the first half, the 76ers did a great job of avoiding that trap by playing smart, up-tempo basketball. The result was an 18 -point lead during a portion of the second quarter, a season high 64 total points in the first half and a 8 point advantage at halftime.
However coming out of the locker room after the half, the Sixers stopped playing smart, up tempo basketball and the results were not pretty to watch. The offensively gifted GSW jumped all over the Sixers in the 3rd quarter and turned what should have been a blowout victory by the home team into an unnecessarily stressful 125-117 overtime win by the Sixers.
A large portion of this victory should be credited to the Sixers (32-30) bench which contributed 67 points on the night. The rest of the credit goes to Collins for his great strategic move he made in the 2nd half and Andre Iguodala who had another big night.
Whatever Doug Collins said or did at halftime, he should immediately remove that speech from his halftime repertoire. The Sixers opened the 3rd Q by settling for long jumpers and committing numerous turnovers (5 in the first 4 mins.; 19 TOs total for the game). They also did not score until the 7:41 mark of the Q and racked up only 13 points total in the 3rd.
However the Sixers were able to shake out of thier 3rd quarter funk and get back to playing their way in time to save this W. The Sixers committed only 1 turnover in th 4th Q and the OT session and appeared to make a concentrated effort to get the ball to rim during the closing portions of the game. FYI…the Sixers scored 72 points in the paint last night. Imagine what that total would have been if they had stuck to the game plan in the 3rd Q?
As was mentioned in the open, the Sixers bench was huge last night (67 points). Thad 20 points (7-12 on FGA), Louis 19 points (6-14 on FGA) and Turner 20 points (9-15 on FGA) all had big nights. Turner and Thad played most of the 4th Q as well as all of the overtime. One could argue that this may have been Turner’s best all around game of the season. ET scored 14 of his 20 during the 4th and OT periods.
One could also say that Andre Iguodala is playing his best ball of the season. Dre posted his second straight triple-double (15, 10, 11) and hit some big baskets in the 4th Q and OT. To be honest though I wasn’t a big fan of either 3PA (0-2) he tossed up last night.
The Sixers FT shooting was clutch last night. As a team the shot 83.9 % (26-31) and were 11-12 in the 4th Q and OT combined. Meeks went 4-4 during that stretch.
One of the big plays of the game was something that happened quickly which you may not have noticed. After Monta Ellis hits a 3-ball with 10 seconds left, Dre took the ball out of bounds and waved off a wide open Turner (who was screaming for the ball). Knwoing that the GSW were going to foul, AI9 waited for Jodie Meeks (a 93% foul shooter) to come open and got him the ball. The GSW immediately fouled Meeks. Meeks went to the other end of the floor and calmly drilled both FTs to give the Sixers a 106-103 lead. Of course Ellis then drained another three to erase that lead and force OT, but the play by Dre and the FTs by Meeks were huge at the time.
Did you notice that despite our please to get Brand the ball more in the 4th Q that Collins removed Brand (12 points & 5 rebs) from the game early in the 4th and went with a smaller lineup the rest of the way? We’ll be the first to admit that running with GSW during a tight game is not the best fit for Elton and it was a great move by Collins.
According to an article in SF Chronicle, GSW head coach Keith Smart was not happy with his squad after the L last night and let them know it loudly.
NBA.com has the highlights of another Sixers win at home.