Philadelphia's improved 1st quarter play continued in Portland, coming out with unmatched energy and jumping ahead 18-4 early. Philly put up 32 points in the opening period and held a 13 point lead at the start of the 2nd. During the Sixers' road losing streak, they repeatedly allowed their opponent to get hot early and take convincing control of the game. The Sixers have not let that happen lately. Portland came back with a much more effective 2nd quarter, but still trailed the 76ers by 2 at halftime.
The Sixers' offense couldn't get things going in the 3rd and allowed the Blazers to take the lead. Portland recovered from their sloppy first half but failed to extend their lead to double-digits. After trailing 76-69 to start the final quarter, Thad Young would tie the game at 84. Spencer Hawes would give the Sixers the lead with a put-back on the next possession, all part of a 13-0 run. Portland would not let the Sixers run away with the game either and would tie it back up at 92 with 1:29 remaining. Thad Young would score off a put-back to but the Sixers up 96-94. Matthews would only hit 1 of 2 from the line for Portland with 22 seconds on the clock. Carter-Williams would draw a foul and only hit one from the line but the Sixers would grab the rebound and Hawes would be fouled and hit both to make it 99-95. After Portland scored, Turner would hit two from the line. Lillard would answer quickly for the Blazers, making the layup with only :07 remaining. With a 2 point lead, Evan Turner made the bad inbound pass and it was stolen by Portland who would use their timeout. On the final play, Lillard would again drive to the basket but would miss the tying layup after MCW contested. The Sixers won it 101-99 in a nail-biter.
Thad Young continued his hot streak, finishing with 30 points (14-20 FG), 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. MCW grabbed 9 boards and 4 assists but struggled with his shot on his way to 16 points (5-16 FG). Carter-Williams went down after getting hit in the head by Young while fighting for the final rebound. He said he would "be fine" but would undergo concussion tests. Turner ended with 23 points and 7 rebounds. Wroten scored 12 points off the bench. The Sixers outscored the Blazers 64-40 in the paint as they consistently attacked the basket.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 29 points, 14 boards, and 5 blocks. Lillard scored 17 points but committed 6 of Portland's 18 turnovers. Nicolas Batum struggled with his shot (1-9 FG for 4 points) but secured 10 rebounds and was a playmaker ending with 10 assists. After hitting 21 three-pointers against the Sixers earlier this season, the Blazers only connected on 3 of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Sixers will return to the Wells Fargo Center to play the Timberwolves (16-17) on Monday.
By: Matt Ryan