The Sixers erased an 8 point fourth quarter deficits in the waning minute, putting Andre Iguodala at the line for 3 free throws to tie it. As has been the case all season, the Sixers were not able to close it out, losing another close game late. Iguodala would miss the final free throw to tie it, and after a poor defensive sequence with Turner and Brand failing to adequately defend a screen, Andre Iguodala missed a jumper and the Sixers once again came up short.
The Sixers had largely kept D.J. Augustin under wraps in the first two meetings between the teams, holding the guard to 21 points on 28 shots during the first two contests. That was a different story tonight, as Augustin came out and put on first half performance you'll rarely see matched. Augustin scored 25 first half points on 10-11 shooting, scoring from the perimeter (he made 3 three point field goals in the first 4 minutes and change), then using that attention to get to the rim at will. The Sixers did a much better job on Augustin in the second half, and the team defense followed, allowing the Sixers to creep back into the game, albeit in vain.
Playing on the tail end of a back to back, on the road, it probably isn't surprising the outcome, although how the Sixers came about the loss was perhaps surprising.
Some quick thoughts after the jump.
- Allowing the offensively inept Bobcats (28th in the league on oRTG) to score 56 first half points is inexcusable. A large portion of that can be attributed to Augustin's career night, but the Sixers overall did a poor job of rotating in the first half.
- Thaddeus Young had 15 points in the 4th quarter, carrying the Sixers through stretches. That was about as effective as you'll see Thad, getting points in many forms, from tip-ins, to good cuts without the ball, and his own isolations. Designing a play for Thad on that last play instead of Iguodala may not have been a bad thing.
- Any surprise Gerald Henderson hit a couple of daggers against us? Players who can shoot well coming off of screens almost always do.
- Jrue Holiday was really off again tonight, and he had some decent looks. If he plays a typical Jrue Holiday game, on either end of the court, the Sixers probably win this easily.
- Evan Turner really slowed down after a good first half. In fact, he didn't collect a stat in the second half. Collins mentioned something about Turner getting dinged and it affecting him, so hopefully he'll be good to go -- and be effective -- Saturday against Utah.
- Despite a very good overall game, one that saw him score 19 points on 11 shots, dish out 5 assists, commit no turnovers, and hold Stephen Jackson to 14 points on 16 shots, I'm sure all the talking heads will mention tomorrow is Iguodala's missed free throw. Whatever.
Next up: Saturday, at home, against Utah.
Player of the game: Andre Iguodala, with Young a strong runner up.