The story of the game was in the paint, where the Sixers had no answer for a driving Russell Westbrook and Queen lead singer Enes Kanter in a 122-97 loss.
It just wasn’t the Sixers night, and it had the old time feel of a game the Sixers were simply never going to win.
One look at the points in the paint disparity tells the whole story of the game. The Thunder dominated down low with a 76-50 advantage, while the Sixers relied heavily on their perimeter game, with little success.
For all intents and purposes, the game was lost in the second quarter when the Sixers just could not defend the paint, no matter which big man was in the middle. Kanter abused the Sixers bigs with post moves and Westbrook, in typical Westbrook fashion, just continued to get to the rim and score, and usually drew a foul call to go with it.
After that, the Thunder put the exclamation point on the game with a 15-2 run to begin the second half, slamming the door on any hope of a “how is this happening” Sixers rally.
Kanter finished with a game-high 24 on 8-9 shooting, and also shot 8-9 at the line.
In addition, Westbrook had his customary triple-double locked up by the midway point of the third quarter, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists, and didn’t miss a shot all night, shooting 6-6 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line.
Stauskas was the team’s top scorer, starting the game 5-5 from long range and finishing with 20 points.
FORMER SIXER Jerami Grant also made a brief appearance in this game, playing 11 minutes, largely in garbage time, and finishing with 3 points and 3 rebounds.
Orlando lost, keeping the Sixers in the 5th lottery position, at least until the Kings and Knicks games finish tonight.
Next up for the Sixers is a trip to Chicago Friday night to face the Bulls. I would submit that it can’t be worse than this game, but I have been proven wrong on this count many times before.