Trip West starts well
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on December 29, 2007
Still coming out of the Arco Arena with a 92-80 win (13-16, .448) is a nice accomplishment for our beloved Sixers on their first matchup of a 6 games trip West. And it was definitely worth staying up until 6.30 AM to watch them live again.
I am out for vacation and I don’t have a fast connection so I’ll keep this pretty short.
It was an ugly game with few flashes: in the first Udrih shot 6/6 on a variety of layups, threes and drives: Sixers were not protecting ther paint but stayed closed mainly thanks to Dalembert who had 10 on 4/5: Iguodala with a shot at the buzzer gave us our first lead at 25-26.
In the second our bench made the difference for us: Korver, Smith and Young all started with 2/2 from the field and played finally some tough defense, with many steals, deflections, forced turonovers and hustle plays. It paid off immediately and we could build a 10 point lead (31-41) that later become larger (36-47). But Brad Miller scored 5 points in a 10-3 Kings run that made Sacramento close the half down four, 46-50.
Half time stats showed how Sixers did a good job containing Kings big men – that destroyed us in Philly, remember? A combined 19/23 from the field…
Dalembert was our best scorer with 14 (6/7), Korver and Smith followed him with 7, Iguodala had 6 on 2/4 but he had already 4 assists. Udrih paced the Kings with 17 on 7/9 (! including 3/3 from downtown), Salmons 9 on 4/9 and Brad Miller had 6 + 5 rebounds. Mikki Moore was held to 0 points. Bench production was in our favour: 20-9, with Cheeks going deep in the rotation.
The third quarter was simply bad: our big men started shooting jumpers (Evans hit one, by the way), Carney was UAU (= Useless As Usual, this is a Sixers4guidos copyright…), bricking consecutive open shots. Kings made their defense stronger, with double teams and putting some pressure on us. Countless ugly possessions started to pile up, with shot clock and three seconds violations, forced and unforced turnovers. Sacramento could count on some offensive rebounds and gained the lead again with Moore (59-61), Brad Miller closed the quarter on a jumper at the horn: 63-63.
At the beginning of the fourth Andre Miller led the way for us scoring 4 points and assisting Jason Smith for a thunderous dunk on a fastbreak: 69-65 Sixers lead. Our lineup in that stretch had the rookie from Colorado State at center and Thaddeus Young at power forward: it worked.
I think Thad was the key in the last period and he’s my MVP for last night (S4G gives him also a double honour: put him in the pic and creates a new nickname: Thad-dunk… too lame?): he had a wonderful rejection and a putback that lifted us at 76-69 and was very active defensively and under the boards. Sixers played a not-so-impressive zone that still was enough to win the game: Sacramento was misfiring on several open jumpers, couldn’t feed its bigs inside and turned the ball over repeatedly.
Udrih’s last triple cut our lead to five (78-73) but then Iguodala finally took over on both ends and capped a 10-0 run with a tough fallaway three as the shot clok was winding down: 88-73 with 3 minutes left, game over.
1) we kept the Kings to 34 second half points. Again, I know they were shorthanded but give some credit to our guys
2) Sam got some revenge vs Brad Miller and was a factor, as his excellent stat line shows
3) Salmons still goes only right. It’s unbelievable. Like 110% of the times he has the ball. But somehow manages to get his drives to the basket.
4) Korver should get an haircut IMMEDIATELY.
5) for an “enemy” stand point on the game check Sactown Royalty, a fine Kings blog.
I don’t know if I will be able to post again this year, in case I won’t…HAPPY 2008 EVERYONE !! And possibly my 2-4 prediction for this trip will have to be corrected