Both teams were without important pieces to their lineups. Indiana's Paul George (out for season), David West, and George Hill were all out with injuries, leaving Hibbert as the only remaining starter from last year's playoff team. Philadelphia was without reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Tony Wroten started in his place, racking up the stats (22 points, 8 boards, 7 assists, and 3 steals) but not doing it very efficiently (43% FG, 38% FT). Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson and third-year, former-Celtic Chris Johnson rounded up the line-up for Philly.
The Sixers (unsurprisingly) played pretty ugly. They picked up 12 fouls in the first quarter and shot an atrocious 38% from the floor, 29% beyond the arc, and 58% from the foul line. Its hard to win games like that. On the bright side, they only turned the ball of 11 times compared to Indiana's 18 and outscored the Pacers 48-32 in the paint.
Both Alexey Shved and Brandon Davies played well of the bench for the Sixers. Davies contributing 12 points and 5 rebounds while Shved, part of the trade that sent Thad Young to Minnesota, finished with 18 points and 5 assists but appeared to struggle defensively.
Philly lost their halftime lead at the 8:55 mark in the 3rd and would fall behind for good when Donald Sloan hit a jumper with 5:43 left in the quarter. The Sixers pulled within 3 on a 9-0 run in the 4th but couldn't keep it up, letting Indiana increase their lead back to double-digits, 99-89, with 3 minutes remaining. Philly only managed to score on two free throws in the final 4 minutes to seal their fate and notch their first loss of what is sure to be a very long season for Sixer fans.
The Sixers travel to Milwaukee to play the Bucks on Friday in a battle between the two worst teams in the NBA last year.
By: Matt Ryan