This season’s first edition of #SixersAfterDark was so dark at some points you literally couldn’t see the game. Philadelphia sunk to 0-3 on this road trip when they fell 130-104 to the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night, turning in a performance just as faulty as the broadcast.
Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid remained sidelined with injuries, but Tobias Harris returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with an illness. Harris struggled in his first game back, scoring nine points, shooting 3-of-9 from the floor in just 20 minutes of action.
Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Sixers in scoring with 25 points, shooting 11-of-20 from the field while Jerami Grant was the game’s high man — going for 27 points on only 13 shots.
Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.
- The teams combining to miss eight of the first nine field goal attempts set the tone for how ugly this quarter would be. The early turnovers equally ugly, as Patrick Beverley traveled attempting to jump stop and draw a foul. Later Oubre and Reed collided going for the same rebound, sending the ball right back to Scoot Henderson.
- It feels like 10 three-pointers is a lot of attempts for one quarter for this team, so it’s a shame that they only made 20% of them. One of the few made threes in the quarter came from Reed, who’s somehow been a marksmen these past couple of games.
- Pat Bev had a much better shift after checking back into the game halfway through the quarter. He had a couple of nice drives to the basket, getting a returning Mo Bamba a wide open lob in the process. The Sixers led by eight after the opening frame.
- Beverley has gotten a lot of praise for his “old-man bag”— a lot of his drives look like the crafty guy at the YMCA. He turned back the clock tonight, getting past Portland’s defense and slamming down a dunk for the Sixers’ first basket of the quarter.
Get up Pat Bev, get up. pic.twitter.com/ZKJxNH4FOm— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 30, 2024
- It was a rough return to the lineup for Harris, who missed six of his first seven shots from the field. He took good shots, but his early threes didn’t fall and several of his back-down midranges rimmed out. He had four points at halftime.
- Someone who did shoot the ball well for the Sixers was Oubre. He was the team’s leading scorer with 14 at the break, shooting 6-of-12 from the floor. The two-pointers he was taking and making were hard drives to the basket, just the shot diet you’d want from him.
how he managed to keep the ball in-bounds...the world may never know. pic.twitter.com/eEDCkXl5Nt— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 30, 2024
- Philly had a tougher time containing the Trail Blazers’ veterans in the second. Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant combined for 22 points in the quarter. On the other hand, the Sixers did not make a field goal in the final three minutes of the frame, and went into halftime down by three.
- As ugly as that half ended, the proceeding half started off even uglier as the Blazers hustled their way out to a double-digit lead. Jabari Walker gave the Sixers fits on the glass while also grabbing a steal during this stretch.
- The Sixers did at least score on their first four trips down the floor, which delayed an extended Trail Blazer run. After that however, they went scoreless for over four minutes of action.
- For the first time all quarter, the Sixers finally did something in the form of paint resistance. Bamba stepped up to block a Brogdon floater and was called for a goaltend in the process. On the replay it looked like a challenge Nick Nurse could win, but he decided against it.
DONE DID IT AGAIN pic.twitter.com/5LBxU4H48I— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 30, 2024
- It was around this time in the quarter that the NBC Philadelphia broadcast got super glitchy before crapping out entirely for a couple of minutes. Probably a sign from the universe for anyone not contractually obligated to watch this game. The Sixers ended the quarter trailing by 17.
- Picking up right where they left off, the Sixers turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions of the quarter. KJ Martin, who’s struggled to do anything without fouling, picked up his fourth of the night on a moving screen.
- If things got out of hand, at least Nurse was willing to mix things up. Terquavion Smith and Ricky Council IV checked in to play the last nine minutes of the game. The sad part was it didn’t feel like the white flag was raised until Jaden Springer checked in a few minuets later.
- Smith missed his first two shot attempts before making a three, just the fourth three-pointer the Sixers made as they ended the night shooting 17% from deep. Council had about the only energy play of the half for the Sixers with a ferocious right-handed slam. He had another impressive two-handed reverse in transition, finishing with eight points.
What a jam from Ricky Council IV pic.twitter.com/IJQWtAPjLf— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 30, 2024
- Well, at least they can flush this one quickly. The Sixers will be back in action tomorrow night, as they’ll take on the Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.