Philadelphia opened the game well, sticking with the Spurs throughout the majority of the first quarter (its saying something when that's considered an accomplishment). A driving shot from Thad Young brought the Sixers within 1 (23-22) with 2:00 minutes left in the opening quarter, but then the Sixers let the game slip. San Antonio closed out the period on an 8-2 run. Then to blow it open, the Spurs bench opened the 2nd quarter with 14 unanswered points. Philadelphia did not score for the first 5 minutes and 25 seconds of the quarter. Philadelphia trailed by 16 at halftime, 60-44. San Antonio had 32 points in the paint in the first half alone. Thad Young had 11 points for Philly at the break while the Spurs were led by 14 from Tim Duncan. Byron Mullens had an effective first half off the bench with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Carter-Williams sparked the Sixers in the 3rd as they were able to cut their deficit to 10 off a 3-pointer from James Anderson. Philadelphia's lack of defensive discipline killed their comeback before it started, as they over-rotated leaving Spurs open from downtown again and again. San Antonio pushed their lead to 21 before the end of the 3rd quarter. The Sixers didn't have what it took to make a move in the 4th and the Spurs took their comfortable lead to the final buzzer.
Philadelphia shot 41% from the field while letting up 56% from San Antonio. The Sixers were out-rebounded 47-37, and outscored 50-38 in the paint.
Young and MCW scored 17 points and recorded 2 steals each for the Sixers. However, they went a combined 12 for 40 shooting. Mullens and Elliot Williams contributed 15 and 14 points respectively off the bench but both struggled on defense. Mullens also grabbed 8 boards. Henry Sims secured 7 rebounds and handed out 7 assists with his 10 points in another start at center.
Austin Daye led the Spurs with 22 points (6-10 3pt) in reserve. Duncan finished with 19 points and 5 rebounds while Leonard and Mills each added 15 points.
The Sixers travel to Houston next and hope to avoid tying the NBA-record 26 straight losses against the Rockets on Thursday. Good luck boys, you are going to need it.
By: Matt Ryan