Photo Credit: Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers (38-25) faced off against one of the hottest teams in the NBA last night, the Sacramento Kings (27-35). Yup, I just said the Sacramento Kings! They have been 6-1 since the Allstar break and suddenly find themselves in the hunt for the 8th seed in the West. We all know of the Sixers road woes, losing nine straight and being without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, & Josh Richardson, but despite the issues and the Kings’ recent winning, this was a great opportunity to end the losing streak.
The Sixers came out raining the three ball early, going 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Tobias Harris and Al Horford both had 10 points and the Sixers jumped out to a 12 point lead. Insert “true point guard” Raul Neto (2 quick Turnovers) and the reserves with no defense and suddenly we have a 2 point game. Kings shooting guard Kent Bazemore led the late run with 6 points.
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Tobias Harris opened up the quarter with 4 quicks points and the Sixers were out to a 16-4 run to open up the quarter. This was technically the Sixers best defensive quarter of the night holding the Kings to 23 points (FG 43%). Shake Milton matched his seven 1st quarter points with another seven going into the break with 14. Tobias Harris added another nine points leading everyone on the floor with 19 points at the half.
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A lot of back and forth to start the 3rd quarter as both teams trading baskets. The Sixers pushed the lead to 19 as the Kings went on a 3-minute drought with zero points. The Sixers were in a zone defensive scheme a lot of the night which allowed for some open shots on the perimeter. The Kings were able to get going as the chipped the lead to 14 and two Buddy Hield three-pointers it was a 6 point game. Insert Raul Neto. Neto? Yes and this time it was a positive as he knocked down back to back catch and shoot threes scoring 14 in the quarter. The lead was back up to 16 but would the Sixers’ ability to shoot the ball continue through the 4th was the question.
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Buddy Hield, who was 6 for 10 from 3PT with 22 PTS off the bench, continued to shoot well from beyond the arc and his teammates joined him as the Kings knocked down 6 threes in the quarter. De’Aaron Fox was 0-4 from three but lead the Kings with 23 points. The lead had been cut to just six with 4 minutes to go in the game but Al Horford, who was a career-high +41 on the floor scored 4 pts down the stretch to push the lead back to 12. Tobias Harris hit the Sixers 17th three of the game with 13.6 seconds left to lead all scorers with 28 and all rebounders with 14. The Sixers snapped the 9 game road losing streak and despite the record (10-23) have improved big time offensively on this trip.
“We feel like we’ve been playing better on the road, we just haven’t gotten the result that we were expecting and finally tonight, we put one together and got a win.”Al Horford
If the Sixers can beat the Warriors on Saturday they will survive this west coast road trip with a 2-2 record and hopefully get at least Joel Embiid and Josh Richarson back for the stretch run and some
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