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Thunder Nip Sixers in OT: Recap and Analysis

The Philadelphia Sixers (7-6) lost a very tough, hard-fought battle to the Oklahoma City Thunder (10-4), 116-109. This game was a thriller and it went into overtime after a failed inbound by the Thunder with 3 seconds left in regulation. Lets take a look at the key aspects of this game that led to a Sixers loss:

Free Throws

Durant was 15-17 from the line (via NBC Sports).

Oklahoma City may have gotten away with a victory tonight due to the amount of free throws they made/attempted. As a spectator, it was very hard to agree with majority of those calls, but those fouls led to 32 made free throws by the Thunder. They shot 87% and were led by Kevin Durant’s 15-17 from the line.

The calls simply did not go the way the Sixers wanted. The only got to the line 17 times and made 12. Durant got to the line just as much as the entire Philadelphia team. In the long run, the Sixers must at least bring up their percentage even if they do not get as many attempts as they would like.

Offense

The Thunder played relatively well offensively, but it was a 2-man show where everyone in the building knew either Durant or Russell Westbrook were going to take the shot. Kevin Durant played 50 minutes and scored 37 points and Russell Westbrook scored 30 in 42 minutes. The Thunder did not have much ball movement which was made evident by there 21 assists.

The Sixers received a very surprising contribution from Thaddeus Young who had a team-high 29 points. They also received a boost from Evan Turner who had 26 points. Jason Richardson played very well, shooting 3-5 from behind the arc, but did not play in the second half. The main reason the Sixers had so many high scorers is because of Jrue Holiday. He took control of the team and spread the ball around. He finished the game with 13 assists, a total that could’ve easily been increased if it weren’t for missed jump shots or people being fouled after receiving a great pass. Holiday also handled the ball better than usual with only 2 turnovers.

Rebounding

The Thunder played very well on the offensive glass and that created numerous second chance opportunities. This was also a problem for the Sixers recently against the Cavaliers and it continued tonight. The Thunder grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and 8 of them were from Serge Ibaka. The Sixers once again just did not give much of an effort in rebounding.

Although they allowed so many offensive rebounds, the Sixers still out-rebounded the Thunder by one. This should be credited more to the Thunder’s missed shots than the Sixers talent in the rebounding game. Thaddeus Young led the game with 15 rebounds and 8 on the offensive side of the ball.

The Thunder still managed to pull away in overtime after draining three consecutive 3-point shots. The Sixers got hot towards the end of regulation but they do not have that star that they can go to in clutch situations such as overtime. Eventually, they will get to the point where they have a go-to man and that will help them get deeper in the playoffs.

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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing

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