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Nov 13 2013

Failure to Fail to Launch: Sixers 123, Rockets 117

Houston Rockets 117 Final

Recap | Box Score

123 Philadelphia 76ers
Thaddeus Young, PF 41 MIN | 5-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | 0Young struggled a bit offensively (his great performances in the Cavs back-to-back notwithstanding, he just hasn’t looked comfortable on that end) but made perhaps the play of the game in overtime, coming around Dwight Howard’s blindside on a double-team with 23 seconds left and the Sixers lead at just 115-114–this immediately after Howard burned Hawes on a running hook–and forcing a turnover that was the nail in the Rockets’ coffin. All tolled, a solid day at the office.
Evan Turner, SF 46 MIN | 9-23 FG | 5-5 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | +3Evan Turner has failed to score 20 points in one game this season: Nov. 4 against the Warriors when he scored 18 on 7-of-12 shooting. So Turner has been…consistent. He’s been a (*fearful of angering the gods, brings voice down to a whisper*) consistent player this season.
Spencer Hawes, C 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +4If Thad Young’s strip of Dwight Howard on a nifty double-team was the Play of the Game, the runner-up was Hawes one-handed putback dunk off an Evan Turner miss to give the Sixers a 115-114 lead in overtime. That, Spencer, was awesome. Sorry, Hawesome. I’m going to miss you Spence. I really am.
James Anderson, SG 44 MIN | 12-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 36 PTS | +7Don’t ever, ever, ever mess with James Anderson’s emotions. Houston cut him this summer. That was a terrible mistake. Terrible, unless they like 36 point on 12-of-16 shooting games from aggrieved ex-players. I’m assuming they don’t like those. The dude just gets so emotional though, and he lashes out. Basically, if you owe James Anderson money, you should pay it back. Like, now.
Tony Wroten, SG 41 MIN | 7-18 FG | 4-7 FT | 10 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +4Wednesday was Tony Wroten’s first start in the NBA, and he also had a triple-double. Do you know when the last time that happened was? Try never. Since the NBA-ABA merger, that had never happened before tonight. So he did okay.
Brett Brown
Brett Brown might be too good of a coach for this Sixers team. Just much too good. They’re fit as all hell (they outscored the Rockets 26-16 in the 4th quarter and 17-11 in overtime), prepared for specific situations like they’re Eagle Scouts (see: Thad Young’s double-team/strip of DH12 in overtime), and crazy fun to watch. He might be too good for us.

By the Numbers

The Sixers entered Wednesday giving up the most 3-point shots in the league. The Rockets hit 15 3-pointers (15-of-36). The distinction remains.

Quote of the Game

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”

-Thomas Edison

Parting Shots

With Michael Carter-Williams out of the lineup with a “bruise on the arch of his left foot”–which is a totally normal, valid reason for a 22-year-old to miss a basketball game–it was incumbent upon Tony Wroten and James Anderson to step up if the Sixers were to have any chance. This was unenviable position. Most teams in such a situation–i.e.,in order to succeed, they needed Tony Wroten (“Who?”) and James Anderson (“The black guy from The Departed?”) to play good basketball–would lose. But “most teams,” it turns out, are not the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers.

James Anderson, of course, played like a man possessed; scoring a career-high, game-high, “are you sure we’re not high” 36 points on 12-of-16 shooting. He was so locked in that he wasn’t passing the basketball. “James, James, I’m open,” Evan Turner probably shouted at some point before Anderson stink-eyed him and buried a clutch 3-pointer. “I need Evan Turner’s help like I need a hole in the head,” Anderson would snarl while he jogged menacingly back down the floor.

Oh, and then there’s the matter of Tony Wroten who, in the first start of his career, did something no one has done since the NBA-ABA merger. That thing being: record a triple-double.

These things–things like Anderson’s 36-point night and Wroten’s historic triple-double–have been happening with weird regularity to the 76ers through this season’s first nine games. It’s been fun, I mean, it’s been really fun, but did you watch the Kansas-Duke game last night? Me neither..I mean I might have caught some highlights or whatever. Just forget about it, man.