By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were coming off of a disappointing performance against the Indiana Pacers. They gave up a double digit lead late in the game and allowed TJ Warren to score 53-points. They lost that game 127-121. It was a team loss, but the main targets for blame after were head coach Brett Brown and guard Shake Milton. Milton played a key role in tonight’s win against the Spurs.
Milton had a bounce back performance tonight after being held scoreless in the game against the Pacers. He scored 16-points, and grabbed five-rebounds. Milton returned to his usual self, he was able to attack the basket, and take advantage from the three-point line as well. He hit the game clinching shot that would lead the Sixers to am 132-130 victory.
Milton was not the only one who made their presence known tonight. Josh Richardson also showed up. He didn’t have a good night shooting, but he made up for it by scoring 19-points and hitting three three-pointers. His defense also in kept Spurs guard, DeMar DeRozan from scoring the go-ahead bucket late in the game. Richardson really brought it on both ends of the floor tonight.
The Sixers still have a lot of work to do though defensively for the second game in a row their defense collapsed in the fourth quarter. They once again gave up a double digit lead and played terribly when Joel Embiid was subbed out of the game. They allowed 40 points to be scored in the fourth quarter. The two players who took advantage of their defensive collapse was DeRozan and forward Rudy Gay.
DeRozan scored 30-points and was attacking the Sixers from the perimeter and the paint. His play forced Ben Simmons into foul-trouble and kept him off the floor. Which allowed both players to take advantage of wide-open shots and attack the basket. Gay also scored 24-points off the bench.
The Sixers were very lucky to pull this game out after allowing two players to combine for 54 of the 130-points the Spurs scored.
Brett Brown has to adjust his rotations and get them to play a full four quarters of good defense. This is not the defensive performance that they are known for.
Milton’s clutch shot saved the Sixers tonight, but they have to put four quarters together of great basketball on both sides of the ball to be the championship contender they hope to be.