The Sixers snapped a 15 game road losing streak tonight, defeating the Sacramento Kings 117-103.
The Sixers initially carried a three day hangover from their mind-blowing loss to Denver Thursday (Apparently fouling a three-point shooter with a two point lead in the game's waning seconds is akin to drinking well tequila). The Kings jumped on the Sixers early. Led by Tyreke Evans (12 points; 4 assists in 1st quarter; 19 points; 8 assists, 8-15 for the game), Sacramento shot an NBA Jamesque 62% from the floor and jumped out to a 31-22 lead after one.
Is it the shoes? Nah, just the Sixers defense.
In an unexpected storyline, Spencer Hawes was booed every time he touched the ball by the Sacramento faithful (According to the telecast, the Sac Town hospitality stemmed from Hawes' recent comments about the Kings moving to Seattle. Hawes is a Washington native and supports the move). Before Zumoff gave the viewers some context, I was a bit confused. I wasn't sure why Kings fans were vehemently booing dribble handoffs. It's very rare that a player is disliked by both team's fan bases; yet, here we are. The '12-'13 Sixers.
To his credit, Hawes seem to embrace the heel role. He pulled Jimmer's tights when the ref had his back turned, and told a few Kings fans in the front row about the cultural accomplishments of Seattle.
Marcus Thornton became the latest player to sign a contract with the Cartier Martin Shooting Stars (random players who have torched the Sixers). Thornton scored 22 points on 9-12 shooting.
But despite a fast start by the Kings, the Sixers hung around. The bench played a big role in the second quarter run, scoring 30 of the team's 58 first-half points. Lavoy Allen shook off the Temple loss (12 points on 5-6 shooting in first half), and D333333 Wright chipped in 16 first half points, including four triples. Lavoy Allen recorded a career high in points, dropping 20 on a tidy 9-13 shooting.
The Sixers and Kings were knotted at 58 in a very fast and loose first half.
No doubt inspired by La Salle's last second victory (and the Southwest Philly Floater. Gross) in the round of 32, the Sixers jumped out to a quick lead after intermission. The third quarter was a highly entertaining affair - with an assist given to a terrific Kings crowd - that was light years more enjoyable than that Magic/Sixers slugfest I was subject to a couple of weeks ago.
Defense was certainly optional, and, I'll have to check the box score again, but I think even Shelvin Mack dropped 18 off the bench. D33333 Wright banked in a three. Former MAAC standout, Jason Thompson, airballed a free throw. Good times were had by all.
The Sixers enjoyed a 91-82 cushion after three.
The fourth quarter was completely dominated by the Sixers. It was a bad night for Lucy offerings, but a good night for fun basketball. The Sixers jumped all over the Kings in transition. The Sixers did their best Florida Gulf Coast impression in the second half (E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!). Philly got numerous looks at the rim and in transition. Damien Wilkins continued his string of strong play, dropping 17 points and 6 rebounds, and subsequently hiring Scott Boras as his agent in one full swoop. Jrue Holiday also filled up the box score, recording 21, 10, 7, and 5 steals. Jrue shot 9-20 from the floor. Dorell Wright finished with 6 triples.
The Sixers snapped a road losing streak that extended back to the Orange Bowl, and recorded a season-high in points in the process.
They will be in action tomorrow in Utah.
On a related note, my heart aches for the Kings fan base. The crowd was great. They deserve much better.
"This game is not over." - Said with the score 78-77 in the third quarter.