The Sixers lost their 14th consecutive game tonight, falling to the Magic, 92-81. The Sixers continued their trend of giving up career nights to decent players. Tobias Harris was the chosen one tonight. Harris recorded a career high 31 points on 11-20 shooting. He chipped in eight rebounds. It was a good result, but a frustrating loss. The Sixers fell apart in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 26-12.
Michael Carter-Williams was the Sixers offense in the opening frame. MCW hit his first five shots on his way to a 12 point opening quarter. MCW, however, went 2-15 the rest of the way. Sad trombones are indeed sad. Carter-Williams finished with 17 points, but on an inefficient 7-20 from the floor. He added a boatload of counting stats, including turnovers. MCW had 11 boards, 6 assists, and a very hearty 8 turnovers.
Despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Sixers seemingly played with more energy than the Magic in the first half. And just to regurgitate what has been said roughly a thousand times this season already: The Sixers aren’t tanking. They’re just not any good. The effort is there. Tony Wroten saved a kitten from a tree, finished a 2,000 piece puzzle of the Eifel Tower, ran a half marathon, and pushed the tempo for the Sixers tonight. And this all happened in the second quarter alone.
The Sixers looked much better defensively in the first half. Although when you have been conceding 170 points a game, anything is an improvement. And, sure, they were playing Orlando – not the ’96 Bulls – but this Sixers team gave up 135 points to Roman Catholic a few weeks back, so, baby steps.
They played with energy, and got some bench production from newcomer, Jarvis Varnado. The Texas Varnado (compliments to Roy for that one) channeled his inner-Theo and registered three blocks. It was nice to see someone, anyone, who could protect the rim even for just a few moments. The same could be said for the incumbent starter at center, Henry Sims. He’s not Hakeem, but maybe Sims (12 points; 7 boards) can carve out a career on an NBA roster.
The Sixers took a lead into the break for the first time this calendar year. (I have no idea if that’s true, but you can’t tell me it’s not true either. Not without looking it up anyway).
Everything turned up Thad in the third quarter. In typical Thad fashion, he scored on a barrage of jump hooks, second chances, off-balance put-backs, etc, etc. Young helped the Sixers take a three point lead into the fourth quarter. Young finished with a team-high 29 points, on 13-25 shooting. Young added three triples.
The fourth quarter was, what's the word I'm looking for here - oh, that's right. A disaster.
Orlando grabbed their first lead since the opening minutes of the second quarter, thanks to a Maurice Harkless triple and E’Twuan Moore dunk. The dunk led to a Brett Brown timeout which only helped to elongate the agony. The Sixers plodded through a twelve minute scoring drought which would’ve been hard to stomach if I wasn’t already desensitized to quarters like this. Scoring droughts and defensive lapses go together like peanut butter and jelly. Turnovers would be the marshmallow fluff in this analogy. The Sixers covered all the major food groups.
The Sixers take on OKC Tuesday. Piece of cake.
Is it too early to call Eric Maynor my least favorite Sixer ever?
Should of Kept Watch
Nikola Vucevic had 18 points on 7-14 shooting. He crushed the Sixers on the glass, pulling down 17 boards.
Maurice Harkless scored 10 points (4-9), six boards, and three blocks.
After a Mullens missed jump shot: "You can call it a heat check, but he’s not hot."
"Thad Young with 12 of his 11 points in this period."