By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high as they faced the San Antonio Spurs tonight after dominating the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. Philly was in a fight as they needed a late game offensive surge to put down the Spurs 113-111.
It looked good early on for the Sixers they jumped on San Antonio from the opening tipoff and were able to get out to a nine-point lead by the end of the first quarter. They were led by guard Seth Curry he scored 14 of his 22-points by half-time. He hit six three-pointers and got what he wanted on the offensive side of the ball. The Spurs had no answer for him, and it did not matter who they had on him. If he was not hitting a three, he attacked the rim. If Curry can continue his recent hot streak it will continue to open the floor for Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Ben Simmons.
Despite Curry’s hot shooting the Spurs were able to erase a 17-point lead. Thanks to an offensive surge led by guard Lonnie Walker IV. He scored 23-points and hit three timely three-pointers. Philly had no answer for him, and it did not matter who they put on him. He attacked the basket and when that was stopped. He would pull-up from three. His play allowed forward Keldon Johnson to hit a timely shot to tie the game.
Philly had a chance to end the game late in the fourth quarter. However, Embiid missed the shot. He would more than make up for it with his play in the overtime period. He scored 34-points and hit some timely shots. The game-clinching basket was hit by guard/forward Ben Simmons who tipped the ball in to help Philly pull-away. The duo also came up big on the defensive side Simmons was able to get some timely turnovers and Embiid changed shots in the paint to give Philly a chance to win.
On Simmons defensive efforts, “I thought those two charges were the biggest plays of the game,” said Sixers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
The Sixers now head to Chicago to face the new-look Bulls tomorrow night. They will need another player to step-up not named Curry or Embiid to score more than 10-points if they want to beat Chicago.
On the win tonight, “Our guys know that they didn’t play right and they got away with one. I think it was more of a relief tonight than a celebration,” said Rivers.