To no one’s surprise, the Sixers did not win a basketball game on Thursday night. Philadelphia suffered a 102-86 defeat to the Spurs in San Antonio.
As mentioned in our game preview, this was a game the Sixers had no business winning. The Sixers just don’t win road games against the Spurs. They have two wins in San Antonio since 1986, with their last victory coming in 2004.
Making matters even more difficult was the fact the Sixers were short-handed and playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Joel Embiid and Rock Covington were expected to be out all along while Nerlens Noel (upper respiratory infection) and Gerald Henderson (hip soreness) ended up being surprise inactives.
Despite the final score, the Sixers actually showed some good fight in this game. Philadelphia’s five-point lead at the half was the first time the Sixers led the Spurs in such a situation since 2005. But eventually the Sixers went cold and ran out of gas while the Spurs took advantage and never looked back.
With the loss, the Sixers are now 18-31 on the season.
- Ersan Ilyasova led the Sixers in scoring (25), rebounds, (10), and steals (4). His performance was a big reason why this game was competitive for the first half. Ilyasova now has 10 double-doubles this season.
- Bad game for Dario Saric. It took 17 shots to score 14 points and he only had one assist compared to seven turnovers. Just too careless with the ball.
- Not a great performance from Jahlil Okafor. He scored nine points on 4-12 shooting. Too often did Okafor catch the ball too far away from the hoop and try to power his way to the rim only to settle for a fadeaway jumper, which he promptly missed. This may shock you but his defense also wasn’t great. Now, it wasn’t all bad with Jah. He made some nice passes and finished with three assists. Two of those came on kickouts for threes while one was a good high-low look which helped Ilyasova get an easy shot at the rim. Okafor also finished with NINE TIMES the amount of rebounds he had in Dallas on Wednesday (1). So there’s that.
- Let’s talk about Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot. There are definitely times when TLC has nice flashes. For example, he had a really take to the rim at one point. But there are often times when the NBA stage looks too big for him. TLC showed questionable awareness when he was sprinting down the floor on a break and he didn’t even realize someone had passed the ball to him. His turnovers also come too easy as simple takeaways for the other team. I like TLC’s potential, but I could easily see why he might drive the coaching staff crazy in the short-term. I think the 21-year-old will really benefit from an offseason in an NBA program. He’s just not there yet.
- Nik Stauskas finished 2-10 from the field, which puts him at 4-15 in his last two starts. He’s a -46 in his last 63 minutes played. Not great.
- Chasson Randle hit a three. He’s 5-8 from beyond the arc this season.
- Richaun Holmes had a really nice block.
Up next: The Sixers’ next game is at 7:30 PM ET on Saturday against the Heat. Miami has won nine in a row. No word yet if Embiid will play.
In case you missed it: Embiid will participate in the NBA All-Star Skills Competition. He was also named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the third time in a row.