Showed balls, beat Bulls
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 16, 2008
When Reggie Evans shoots 6/6 from the line, everything is possible.
Heart, balls, an unbelievable streak of free throws (+ a serious help from our opponent) gave Sixers an exciting 106-110 comeback win in Chicago (32-34, .484).
Down eighteen at the beginning of the fourth (88-70) the game seemed over.
This also because Bulls led it with pretty safe double digit margin for more than 36 minutes: it was + 17 in the second (54-37, capping a 11-0 run), + 18 in the third (70-52).
Deng and Sefolosha were killing us with jumpers and drives, while Sixers looked really bad: poor circulation, no defense, no fastbreak/transition points, and – of course – no outside shooting.
By halftime the score was 58-43 and Sixers had four assists (!) vs Bulls’ fourteen, ZERO threes (on zero attempts) vs Bulls’ four: but the most impressive stat was fastbreak points, that were a whopping 0-11 for Chicago. You read it well, we didn’t score a single basket on fastbreak.
Bulls had also an advantage on the offensive glass, grabbing eleven boards under our rim: we stopped at four. To sum it up, we got outplayed in every aspect of the game that we usually build our wins on.
Things didn’t change in the third: we made a little run to cut the aforementioned 70-52 lead to 72-60, but then Iguodala missed a wide open three pointer, we allowed an easy dunk to Deng on the following possession and when Gordon connected from downtown (79-64) I thought we missed our chance to get back into the game. True, we put a lot of points from the line (escpecially with Iguodala, Smith, Carney and Evans), but the 86-70 score at the end of the quarter didn’t give us much hope, honestly.
But (luckily) Sixers had different ideas about the end. Starting the fourth quarter with a line up of Kevin Ollie, Lou Williams, Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth (!!) Sixers let the Bulls gain their largest margin (88-70) but then sparked one of the most exciting comebacks of the season.
It was 92-83 thanks to Lou Williams, 94-88 (6 minutes left) when Carney knocked down Sixers’ first three pointer of the night (…), 98-95 with Rodney’s second and 98-98 when Iguodala followed an offensive foul by Hinrich and, showing balls & clutchness at the same time, hit his own three.
The first lead came at 102-103, on Carney’s third consecutive three pointer. Sefolosha had another offensive foul and Lou Williams made two big field goals, the last one on a drive to give us a three point lead with one minute left (104-107).
The final sequence was: Gordon’s jumper (106-107, 51 seconds left) – Williams’ miss – (idiotic) offensive foul by Larry Hughes – Iguodala 2/2 from the line (106-109, 19 seconds).
Bulls had the ball to tie it with a three pointer but Ollie played great defense on Gordon, not falling for his pump fakes, so that Bulls guard had to force a three pointer that was off the mark: Dalembert got the rebound and put the game out of reach for Chicago with a free throw (106-110, 8 seconds).
I think the picture says a lot about the team’s attitude: Andre Miller sat out for the entire fourth quarter (!!) but was cheering for his team mates and jumping of joy on every good play. Miller was all smiles at the end, giving high five to his veteran back up who carried the team in his place.
Think about it, in a League where players’ egoes often reach disturbing levels, you have a 32 y/o leader not playing at all in the decisive quarter but giving his team mates support instead of bitching or sitting all alone at the end of the bench. That’s one of the sweetest things I noticed last night.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
Sixers are 2-0 without Willie Green, LOL – Sixers had six turonovers in the first quarter, when Reggie Evans had eight points with 4/4 from the line – Carney’s biggest game of the season came after a slow start: he missed all of his first three shots – For the Bulls it was one of the toughest losses of the season, and I guess it won’t help their confidence – Tyrus Thomas is horrible and nobody taught him how to play basketball, but he had a fantastic block on Jason Smith – In the third Sixers allowed a fastbreak after a free throw !!
Sixers play host to the Spurs in the second night of the back-to-back: our confidence should be at an all time high after the last two wins and the way they came.
Recap coming in few hours here on Sixers4guidos.