To the casual Sixers’ fan in the Delaware Valley, a mid-season win over the Houston Rockets means virtually nothing.
But, Wednesday night’s 114-105 victory over Houston was a milestone for Doug Collins and his ever-sprouting team.
It was the Sixers’ 27th win of the season.
It took them the entire season to earn 27 wins during the 09-10 campaign (wasted by Eddie Jordan).This year, the Sixers did it before the All-Star break.
Indeed, they went the break on a good note, as the game actually mirrored their entire season. It started ugly, as the Sixers quickly fell down 15-4 early in the first quarter. Though, it wasn’t long before the Sixers bounced back to tie the game going into the second quarter.
As the night went on, the Sixers took over the game in all areas, including their usual suspect of the deadly and nearly unbeatable transition game.
They took a 55-52 lead into halftime on a buzzer beater three-pointer by Andre Iguodala.
It was a complete team effort that allowed the Sixers to take control in the second half.
An astounding seven Sixers finished the night in double figures. Jrue Holiday led the team with 20. Meanwhile, both Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young chipped in with 19 a piece.
Andre Iguodala finished with a triple- double, posting 13 points, grabbing 12 boards and dishing out 10 assists.
Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes each had a double-double. Though, Hawes’ was more impressive. The big man dropped in 17 points and even drained a three-pointer for good measure.
On the opposite end of things, it was a just two man show that kept the Rockets in the game.
Villanova product Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola provided more than half of Houston’s points. Lowry was blazing hot as he shot 15-18 from the field for 36 points, including a 6 of 9 effort beyond from downtown. Scola scored 26 while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Luckily for the Sixers, no one else on the Courney-Lee less Rockets showed up to play.
What’s even better was the all around team contributions. All that took floor for the Sixers scored at least 6 points or more, with one exception (Jodie Meeks).
The final scoreboard won’t reflect the defensive effort the Sixers provided, but the Rockets shot just 46% as a team.
Without the efforts of Lowry, the Sixers would have stormed out Houston with a blowout ; and maybe even Hunter Pence from the Astros and Ed Wade.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t pretty or special, but a reflection of a team, that at the all-star break sits 2 games under .500 – a huge accomplishment for a team that started out 3-13.
A reflection of a renewed belief that should carry over into an exciting second half and most probably into the NBA Playoffs.
NBA Playoffs – How does that sound?