By: Kylan Watson
Fresh off an emotional win against the Brooklyn Nets last night, the Philadelphia 76ers faced the Charlotte Hornets. Both teams were missing their star players but Charlotte used a fourth quarter offensive explosion to put Philly away 107-101.
Philly jumped on the Hornets from the opening tip-off, they were able to hit their shots early on in the game and get out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter. They were led by the backcourt duo of Shake Milton (22-points) and De’Anthony Melton (20-points) who combined for 42 of the Sixers 101-points. The duo made Charlotte pay for daring to give them enough room to attack the basket. Milton continued his streak of being one of the top scorers for them. He had a tough night tonight, but he took full advantage of the Hornets aggressive defensive play and would attack the basket if they played him too tough on the defensive end. He singlehandedly got the Sixers back in to the game. This stretch has been good for his confidence and if he can build on this when they are back to full strength. That can add to Philly’s offensive punch from the second unit.
The offensive explosion from Milton and Melton gave the Hornets every excuse to pack it in. However, they did not in the third quarter they exploded and started hitting their shots. That allowed them to go on a 14-to-three scoring run that put the Hornets back in front. The Sixers could not overcome that scoring run and their 19 turnovers. That allowed the Hornets to get easy opportunities to attack the basket and run a tired Sixers squad off the court. Terry Rosier was the closer for them tonight, he made two late baskets that kept Philly at bay. He scored 22-points and Charlotte needed every point to get their fifth win of the season.
The Sixers will now get a day off to prepare for a two-game series with the Orlando Magic on Friday and Sunday night. Another young team that will most likely give the Sixers fits with a backcourt that is very explosive and athletic. Philly’s defenders will need to keep the ball in front of them and force them into some tough shots if they want to keep up with the Magic. Additionally, they will also need to make some shots from the three-point line which they did not do tonight. If they want to get their 10th win of the season.