By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to make a statement against the tough San Antonio Spurs. They made an emphatic statement as they burned the Spurs 134-99. Using some hot shooting and another strong defensive performance to extend the win streak to five in front of fans for the first-time in a year.
On the fans being back, “When they were there, and you walked out, it was awesome. Their noise, their spirit – they got the guys excited,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
It started out well for the Sixers as guard/forward Danny Green turned back the clock and reminded San Antonio what they traded away. As he scored 11 of his 16-points in five and a half minutes of work in the first quarter. He powered Philly in the first two quarters. He was able to hit four three-pointers and really was in a rhythm tonight. Green has been playing very solidly since the all-star break and if he continues rounding into the form the Sixers may have found another reliable weapon.
Green was not the only one either as guard Seth Curry had it working too. He scored 21-points and was attacking the Spurs from the perimeter and the paint. He is another one that has been rounding into form after the All-Star break. With center Joel Embiid missing the next two to three weeks with a bruise knee. Curry and Green will get their chance to fill up the stat sheet as it will take a team effort to replace the 30-plus points. He was scoring a night.
Despite this great effort from Curry and Green. San Antonio continued to fight they were able to cut to lead to eight by half-time. They were powered by guard Derrick White who attacked Philly from the paint and perimeter. He scored 17-points and hit three three-pointers. Even though the Sixers defenders kept the Spurs relatively in check. White was still able to get his.
On the offensive explosion, “Growth, we are passing the ball we have been together almost a year now,” said Rivers.
It took a strong third quarter to shut the door on the Spurs. The Sixers went on a 12-0 scoring run late in the third quarter. They were powered by forward Tobias Harris (23-points) and guard/ forward Ben Simmons (14-points). Both combined for 37 of Philly’s 134-points. Without Embiid the Sixers will be relying on Simmons and Harris to carry the bulk of the scoring load and they played their part tonight.
On the win, “There’s a reason why we’re #1 in the East right now, and we want to keep that,” said Harris.
It will be important for Philly to continue to get balanced scoring from someone other than Simmons and Harris. Tonight they got it from four of their starters and from the bench. They will continue to need somebody to be the third scorer as they face the surging New York Knicks on Tuesday night.