Lynam: 'This team literally refuses to quit'
Tony Wroten had 18 points with 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the Sixers' win over Houston. (AP)
Back and forth, up and down and do it all over again.
In yet another wildly entertaining game, the Sixers rallied for a thrilling 123-117 overtime victory over the high-scoring Houston Rockets (see Instant Replay). The Sixers trailed by 10 points with nine minutes left in the game, but forced overtime when James Anderson hit a wild three-pointer from above the key with 6.6 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, the Sixers forced a late turnover to grab a lead and hung on.
Here are a few elements from Wednesday’s game that stood out:
1. Anderson finds his rhythm
Outside shooting was one of the areas the Sixers were expected to struggle this season, and headed into Wednesday’s game against the Rockets they haven’t been good. On the proverbial midrange shot between 15 and 24 feet, the Sixers are shooting 37.2 percent (48 for 129) and on standard three-pointers, they were shooting 33.6 percent (46 for 137).
Anderson has been the team’s floor spacer, however, he had connected on 9 of 27 three-pointers and was hitting on 36.8 percent of his catch-and-shoot jumpers going into the game against the Rockets.
During the first half, though, Anderson found his stroke, hitting three straight catch-and-shoot threes. He also made his first six shots, scored 15 points in the first on his way to a career-high 36 on 12 for 16 shooting, including six three-pointers.
If Anderson can consistently knock down jump shots, the Sixers will find a lot more looks in the paint.
2. Defending Howard
It’s no secret where Dwight Howard wants to get the ball. The trick for defenses is to keep the big fella from catching the ball on the low block.
Easier said than done, of course. Of the 122 shots Howard has taken this year, 113 have been in the paint. That’s pretty much how it went on Wednesday, too. Excluding the last-second three-pointer Howard took to end the first half, the longest shot the Rockets’ center took was a nine-footer.
The trick was forcing Howard to give up the ball, which also is easier said than done. However, Lavoy Allen did a solid job of pushing Howard away from the low block while the team’s defense packed it in the paint.
Allen gives up a few inches to Howard, but he is, as they say, “country strong.” As a result, Howard went 9 for 20 and had to earn his 23 points.
3. No Harden, no problem
With leading scorer James Harden and his nearly 25 points per game on the bench, the Rockets got a bit of a dose on Lin-sanity. Getting the start at two-guard, Jeremy Lin hit a career-high nine three-pointers and dished out 12 assists.
They weren’t easy threes for Lin, either. Though the Sixers give up a lot of three-pointers, Lin hit a couple with men hanging on him and converted a four-point play when Evan Turner was whistled for a foul on a three-pointer.
Always prone to turnovers, Lin had eight of them against the Sixers.
4. Triple double-double
Six players accounted for all the Rockets’ points on a stat sheet that is littered with tons of numbers. For instance, three different Rockets -- Terrence Jones, Howard and Lin -- had double-doubles and a fourth, Patrick Beverley, fell a rebound short.
5. No MCW, no problem?
Meanwhile, Tony Wroten filled in for the injured Michael Carter-Williams and turned in a career night, notching his first triple-double.
Wroten scored 18 points with 11 assists and 10 rebounds. His 11th assist was on a crazy, over-the-top pass from the corner that Anderson caught in traffic, squared up and buried a 25-footer to force OT.