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Sixers, Turner Spoil Brand’s Return: Recap and Analysis

The Sixers were home once again, on Tuesday night. Fresh off a thrilling win against the Suns, the Sixers were hoping to end a six game-losing streak versus the Dallas Mavericks. They were also hoping to extend a streak of games where they scored 100+ points.

In the first quarter, the Sixers started out VERY hot. They hit their first seven shots from the floor, including three consecutive three pointers from Jason Richardson (2) and Evan Turner (1).  A fast start saw the Sixers score 17 points in the first 4:08 of the game. The Mavericks caught up very quickly. O.J. Mayo knocked down a sixteen-foot jumper to tie the game. The Mavericks had the lead for the last 2:46 of the quarter.

The Mavericks stayed in control for much of the first half. Elton Brand converted a tough three point play to put the Mavs up 38-31, with 10:48 to play in the second. With 6:09 to play, Chris Kaman knocked down a jumper to put Mark Cuban’s employees up 48-39. Elton Brand completed another tough and1 to put the Mavs up 56-53, with :28 to play in the half. This was the score at the twenty-four minute mark.

The Sixers fought back in the third quarter. Evan Turner hit a jumper to put the home squad up 72-70, with 3:30 to play. Spencer Hawes showed his inner Kobe by knocking down a nearly impossible shot falling out of bounds, behind the backboard to beat the shot clock. Darren Collison threw a three ball into the sea of net as the third quarter buzzer sounded to put the Mavs up one, but it was waved off. This was the biggest call of the game.

The fourth quarter was a twelve minute period that saw the Sixers pull away, and then have the Mavericks come back. The Sixers played “hot potato” with the basketball on a very well executed play. Jrue Holiday drove to the basket, kicked it out to J-Rich, who went baseline, then fired it out to Nick Young who went to the paint and found Dorell Wright for a nice dunk. The Sixers went up 85-81 with 7:24 to play. One play later, Nick Young hit a jumper to put Philly up 87-81. Then, another Maverick turnover lead to a Jrue Holiday hand off to Thad Young, who got an and-1. The Sixers lead 90-81.

Five consecutive Maverick turnovers (five consecutive possessions of fantastic Sixers defense) lead to a 12-0 Philly run. Then, the Mavs fought back. With 1:30 to play in the quarter, O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter knocked down two straight threes for the Mavs. Sixers lead was down to four, at 100-96. With :35 seconds left, Vince Carter made a gorgeous spin move and made a layup. Uh-oh, a two point game. Jrue Holiday missed a tough jumper  and Dallas got the ball. There were seventeen seconds left in the game.

Now, lets flash back to the 2008-09 season. The Mavericks had the ball in a tied game at the Wachovia Center (former name of Sixers home arena).  With four seconds left, Dirk Nowitzki got inbound pass and nailed a fade away jumper at the buzzer to beat the Sixers, 95-93. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYRNs4uYDDY)

Now, flash back to Tuesday. A long Maverick possession (great Sixers defense) put the ball in O.J. Mayo’s hands. Orange juice and Mayonnaise took the ball to the basket and got fouled by Kwame Brown (Kwame Brown adding to his fabulous season). Mayo missed the first free throw. Since he missed the first, he had to miss the second, intentionally. He did, the Sixers and Mavericks fought for the rebound. The ball got tipped out to Jae Crowder. Crowder fired a fade away three and it was…NO GOOD. He banked it off the side of the rim. Mark Cuban shouted an expletive, kicked a chair, and walked back to the locker room with his team. The Sixers escaped with their second straight close victory.

Who Stayed Hot?

Maalik Wayns stayed hot as Jrue Holiday’s back up point guard. He hit 2/8 from the field, 2/3 from three point range, 4/4 from the free throw line, en route to a career high 10 points.

Evan Turner had his third consecutive 20+ point game. He is starting to look like that second overall pick that the Sixers have been waiting for.

MVP/Grades

Elton Brand almost quadrupled his season average with 17 points (5/10 FG, 7/8 FT), and eight rebounds. He made the Sixers pay for using the amnesty on him. A

Chris Kaman was a huge factor for Dallas. He had 20 points (9/13 FG, 2/2 FT), with four rebounds. A

Evan Turner was a key piece to the Sixers win. He had 22 points (8/12 FG, 2/4 3FG, 4/5 FT), with 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. A+

Thaddeus Young had another great game for the city of brotherly love. He contributed 20 points (7/14 FG, 6/11 FT), with 7 rebounds. A+

Kwame Brown actually had a nice game. He had 6 points (2/3 FG, 2/4 FT), with 8 rebounds. He also forced one of the key turnovers in the Sixers’ fourth quarter run. B+

Decisive Moment of the Game

The refs had a big call to make. Darren Collison’s three pointer to end the third quarter was incredibly close with the buzzer. But, the correct call was made. The basket was waved off. If that three had counted, the Sixers would have lost the game.

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Categories: 76ers, Beat Writing, Editorial

Author:Austin Krell

Sixers beat writer and NBA analyst

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