I watched the game. It happened. I have the box score to prove it. But I'm still having trouble wrapping my little head around it. The Bucks held a ten point lead in the final two minutes; content with salting away their third win of the season. And then Spencer Hawes, thee Spencer Hawes from Washington University, went absolutely ballistic. Hawes knocked down three triples, including a fade away from the corner with one second left to send the game into overtime.
The fade away in the corner was the play Brett Brown drew up during the timeout. In his post-game interview, Brown said he got the idea from Stan Van Gundy, who formerly called that same play for Rashard Lewis. Brett Brown then went on to compare Spence to Robert Horry.
So what do I know?
Hawes' second three during his late-game barrage was off a screen. Just your run of the mill seven footer coming off a pick and knocking down the jumper. No big deal here. Standard fare at the Wells Fargo Center. Oh, by the way, have you seen my unicorn, Princess? She was last seen chasing Bigfoot down Broad Street.
The Sixers jumped on the Bucks early, pushing their lead to as much as sixteen points. The bench - not quite the Nightshift from yesteryear, but a nice collection of temps nonetheless - did most of the heavy lifting. Playing once again without Thaddeus Young (personal reasons), Cowboy Dan Orton again got the start. Orton did some solid work defensively (4 points, 6 rebounds), including this mammoth block of Zaza Pachulia. Orton seems to be carving out a nice role as a back-up big man for this team, but struggled with foul trouble the entire night.
The Sixers also got contributions from Lavoy Allen (9 points, 4-6 shooting; 8 boards) and Hollis Thompson registered his best game as a Sixer. Thompson played 21 minutes, including burn in overtime after MCW fouled out, and scored a career high 16 points on a tidy 7-9 shooting. The Sixers struggled with self-inflicted wounds, however. They turned the ball over sixteen times in the first half and headed to the locker room with a slim 55-53 advantage.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair and saw the Bucks take their first lead since the opening moments of the game. The Bucks were paced by personal favorite, Ersan Ilyasova (19, 6, and 6; 9-17 shooting) and Caron Butler (38 obnoxious points), who turned back the clock to 2006. The only thing missing was Natasha Bedingfield playing during timeouts. Bucks leading scorer, O.J. Mayo, was reduced to facilitator (eight assists), as Butler and Ilyasova thrust Milwaukee back into the game.
The Sixers clung to a 75-73 lead after three.
Milwaukee pushed ahead in the fourth. The Sixers went over six minutes without a field goal, a drought that would have driven even AC Green stir crazy. But this isn't Doug's Sixers anymore, and Philly managed to get to the charity stripe and keep the offense afloat.
But it was waaaaaaay too much Caron Butler down the stretch. The Sixers had no answer for the veteran, or for the Saran Wrap on the basket, and they dropped this one ....
And then your 2014 MVP, Spencer Hawes, went bonkers. Hawes, when formally announced as NBA MVP, will be the first 7'0" foot player to win the award since Dirk Nowitzki in 2007. Evan Turner then controlled the overtime frame and the Sixers snapped their four-game losing streak.
Much has been made this week about the Sixers early season success. For a team with tanking aspirations, how many wins is too many? Tonight's game will only fuel the discussion even more. The Sixers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. It was improbable and incredible. So tonight, let's be lovers.
Tomorrow, we'll go back to being tanks.
Tony Wroten left tonight's game in the second quarter with a lower back strain.
-Michael Carter-Williams fouled out late in the fourth, but had a nice bounce-back game. MCW had 12 points, 8 boards, 11 assists, and 5 steals. He went 4-8 from the floor, and got to the line six times. He committed five turnovers.
-Evan Turner scored 27 points on 10-18 shooting, and got to the FT line eight times. ET did a lot of his damage in overtime.
-I was in the car during the Orton block of Pachulia. Tom McGinnis' call almost caused me to drive my car off I-76.
-According to the radio broadcast, no player in the NBA has had their shot blocked more than Evan Turner.
-The Bucks only had one lead in the first half. 2-0.
-The Sixers committed 26 turnovers tonight, but went to the foul line 29 times. (18-29).
-The Sixers got called for nine offensive fouls tonight. Steve Wojciechowski worked himself into a frenzy watching on Synergy.
Malik Quote of the Night
"I don't see too well. I have amnesia."
The Sixers at Indiana tomorrow.
Happy weekend, everyone.
Spencer Hawes ridiculous game-tying 3 pointer Sixers-Bucks (via frank den)