The Philadelphia 76ers (15-19) came into the game with a record of 6-11 on the road looking to defeat the defending Western Conference champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7). In the previous battle between these two teams, the Sixers gave the Thunder a run for their money, although they lost in overtime. In the rematch between these two teams there was a significant difference. Oklahoma City is a great a home team and the Sixers are a poor road team. The Sixers were destined for failure, falling 109-85.
Nick Young has found his shooting stroke and has become much more of a scoring threat for the Sixers. He scored 21 points tonight and his only made field goals came from beyond the arc. He shot 5-12 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the three-point line. Young also was the only Sixer player to attempt a free throw and was 6-8 from the line. During the post-game interview Collins alluded to the fact that his team needs to be more aggressive. 4 of Young’s free throw attempts were off of jump shots. Oklahoma City made it to the line 27 times and made 21 of them.
Doug Collins also said that turnovers are the reason for this loss. When asked why the Sixers were unable to come out with the victory he replied: “Turnovers, turnovers, offensive rebounds . . . Can’t be careless against a team like this”. The Thunder had 18 fast break points and are a team that likes to play an up-tempo offensive style. The Sixers had 16 turnovers, but they also forced 16 turnovers. They did not capitalize on these opportunities as well with only 10 fast break points.
The battle of the point guards was an interesting one, with Jrue Holiday and Russell Westbrook both looking to make their respective All-Star teams. Holiday finished with 15 points, 9 assists, and four turnovers, while Westbrook finished with 27 points, 5 assists, and six turnovers.
Play of the Game
Nick Young, moving off the ball and coming off of two screens, nailed a catch and shoot three point while drawing a foul. Unfortunately he missed the free throw, but it was a great play design and great execution.
Stat of the Game
The Sixers have been terrible when it comes to getting to the free throw line. Tonight’s game was an even worse display of offensive aggression with only one player (Nick Young) even attempting a free throw. They (He) made 6-of-8 (75%) from the free throw line and if they were able to keep up this kind of percentage with a higher attempt total, they would be in better shape.
Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, who combined for 55 points and 10 free throws made the last time these two teams played, combined for 15 points and zero free throws this time around.
Players of the Game
For Philadelphia, Nick Yong was a major bright spot. He had 21 points off the bench and was very productive. Young hit 2 three’s toward the end of the second half and put the Sixers in a situation where they were only down by 6 going into the half.
Kevin Durant is a player that cannot be stopped, only slowed down. The Sixers did a great job of slowing down Durant in the 1st half, holding him to 3 field goals. Durant turned it up in the second half and contributed to the big run late in the 3rd quarter that helped OKC pull away. He finished with 26 points and 6 rebounds.