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Sixers vs. Thunder Game Recap: Hustling is a Habit

Perfect result.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Despite never trailing with a large deficit, I had complete faith the Sixers wouldn't escape with a win on Saturday night. For as hard as they played, the Thunder were simply more talented. This is like I like to call the perfect result. The Sixers scrapped and hustled their way into a game they had no business being in, but ultimately ended up with the loss.

Easing any concerns of a Sixers win was a brilliant performance from (2013-2014 NBA MVP?) Kevin Durant. Durant dropped the fifth triple-double of his career and 10th straight game of 30+ points on Saturday night. The dude is just fun to watch. Serge Ibaka was a big part in the Thunder's win as well, and not just because he was blocking shots on the defensive end. Ibaka's 25 points came on a super efficient 75% shooting performance. Durant and Ibaka were really the only Thunder players who did much.

As for the Sixers, the box score wasn't pretty. They shot an ugly 37.8% from the field. Thaddeus Young finished two steals shy of a triple-double of his own but his 13 points came on an inefficient 5-17 shooting performance. Still, Thad was hustling all over the place like he usually does. Speaking of hustle, I can't help but appreciate the performances of Elliot Williams and Hollis Thompson. They sure don't fill the stat sheet but they come off the bench and actually make a few solid contributions in limited playing time. That's great.

A fter the game, I watched Brett Brown's press conference  and he seemed to be generally proud of his guys, especially when it came to guarding Durant. Brown also had high praise for the Thunder's organization and mentioned how their model is one the Sixers can aspire to replicate. Hopefully one day, BB.

Final Thoughts:

• For whatever reason, injured Thunder PG Russell Westbrook was taunting Sixers fans during the game. Here's a great GIF to show what I mean.

• Not the best performance from Michael Carter-Williams. He had a few select moments (gorgeous floater, a block on Kendrick Perkins) but struggled to score efficiently. Where MCW did excel is on the defensive end, holding Thunder PG Reggie Jackson to 5 points on 1-9 shooting.

• Ibaka completely shut down Spencer Hawes on the inside but Hawes is still stroking it from beyond the arc. It's probably time for someone to trade for him. Stretch Fives are all the rage.

Tony Wroten returned from injury. That's a cool thing. Welcome back, T-Wro.

• Dewanye Dedmon: 10 minutes, 0 shots, 1 point, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls. OK.

Tank Watch: Hey, Utah! A Jazz win over the Wizards boosts their record to 15-29. That means the Sixers are in sole possession of the third worst record in the NBA. Cool! Elsewhere, the Bucks, who will probably never win a game ever again, lost to the Hawks.

Evan Turner left the bench to go to the locker room early in the game, but returned to the court shortly afterwards. CSN showed a replay where he ran back on defense holding his back a little. It didn't seem to be anything major. Something minor to watch, I guess.

• The NBA season is more than halfway over now with only 38 games to go. Even more notably, the NBA trade deadline is only a mere 25 days away. There are only 11 more Sixers games in that span. Fun times ahead.

• Speaking of the trade deadline and fun times...


Up Next: Suns at Sixers on Monday night at 7:00 PM. The tank rolls on.

Final - 1.25.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma City Thunder 26 27 30 20 103
Philadelphia 76ers 26 18 27 20 91

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