With a second straight loss, this one a 109-85 defeat to the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers fell back to an even .500 (see Instant Replay).
Hey, it had to happen sooner or later.
Regardless, the veteran-laden Spurs showed no sign of slowing down, improving to 7-1 this season for the second-best record in the NBA. The 4-4 Sixers will look to bounce back on Wednesday when Houston comes to town.
Here are a few things that popped out at is during Monday night’s game.
1. The Spurs are good
It’s one thing for a team to execute and to run a crisp offense with a ton of ball movement. But it’s another to play as hard as the Spurs. Mix the execution with the tenacity and it’s a pretty lethal mix.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Spurs have committed the third-fewest turnovers in the league and have the fifth-best shooting percentage in the West.
More telling is the Spurs ripped the Knicks by 31 points on Sunday afternoon and played without future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan against the Sixers on Monday, and didn’t miss a beat.
It’s not going to last forever. Eventually Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, etc. will retire and move on. But for now there are few teams that get after it like the Spurs. Enjoy it while it lasts.
2. Turner creeping out
The Sixers’ leading scorer poured in 20 more points against the Spurs on Monday night and was one of the few players that had any production worth mentioning in the loss to the Spurs. And though Turner’s scoring is up slightly over the last two games, his efficiency has dipped.
Turner scored a career-high 31 points on 9 for 23 shooting in the double-OT loss on Saturday with 13 shots from deeper than 15 feet. Against the Spurs, Turner chucked up eight more from beyond 15 feet.
The result: 5 for 21 on shots 15 feet or longer. On shots from 14 feet and closer, Turner was 13 for 23.
3. Hawes posting numbers
It’s a contract year for Sixers center Spencer Hawes and, as expected, his stat lines have been consistently good. On Monday, Hawes notched his fifth double-double (17 points, 13 boards) and got there in record time.
Hawes grabbed his 10th rebound with 10:49 left in the third quarter after sitting on nine for more than half of the second quarter.
4. MCW vs. Tony Parker
This one didn’t go very well for the rookie. In 32 minutes, Michael Carter-Williams went 2 for 11 for eight points, with four assists and two turnovers. Both of Carter-Williams’ field goals came on layups and he went 2 for 6 on shots in the paint.
The veteran Parker logged just 29 minutes, but shot 7 for 12 for 14 points with nine assists. Conversely, Parker went 5 for 5 on shots in the paint.
Parker played just 26 minutes in the blowout victory over the Knicks on Sunday, hitting 8 for 12 from the field.
5. Orton sits out again
With Duncan taking a rest, big man Daniel Orton figured to log some minutes against the Spurs. Instead, the center sat out for the third straight game with a sore knee.