Lynam: Sixers' win was 'basketball at its competitive best'
Thaddeus Young had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Sixers' win over the Magic. (USA Today Images)
The Sixers couldn’t hang on to a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter or a five-point lead with 1:30 left in the first overtime, but they didn’t let a second five-point lead slip away in the second overtime.
A 126-125 victory in double overtime over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center stopped the Sixers’ four-game losing streak (see Instant Replay).
Here are a few interesting items we saw during Tuesday night’s epic:
1. Deep impact
Spencer Hawes continued his solid shooting from beyond the three-point arc by drilling three more on Tuesday night. It was the 18th straight game in which Hawes hit at least one three-pointer, which is the eighth-longest streak in team history.
Hawes still has a long way to go to catch Dana Barros for the longest streak in team history.
Dana Barros - 58
Kyle Korver - 28
Jodie Meeks - 25
Korver - 25
Barros - 22
Korver - 22
Allen Iverson - 21
Korver - 21
Hersey Hawkins - 20
Meeks - 19
Spencer Hawes - 18
Korver - 18
Meanwhile, Thad Young knocked down a three-pointer in his fourth straight game, which isn’t too bad for a guy who attempted just 12 three-pointers in the last two seasons combined. During the 2009-10 season, Young had a 10-game three-pointer streak.
2. What rust?
Young has been back for four games and hasn’t shown a bit of rust after a missing three games and nine days following the death of his nephew. Young logged 48 minutes and scored 25 points on 10-for-20 shooting on Tuesday night. During his layoff, Young said he did not touch a basketball and only worked out in the weight room in his home.
In the last four games, Young is averaging 22.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
On Tuesday, Young hit a clutch layup with 33.8 seconds left in regulation to give the Sixers a three-point lead. In the first overtime, Young rattled home a three-pointer with 2:04 left to give the Sixers a seemingly insurmountable lead.
3. Role reversal
Rookie Hollis Thompson started for the second straight game, pushing James Anderson to a bench role. However, Anderson’s minutes haven’t dipped too drastically. As the first man off the bench for head coach Brett Brown, Anderson turned in 25 minutes and scored 19 points. He also hit a big three-pointer with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter to push the Sixers’ lead to seven points, as well as a diving rebound with 90 seconds left in double overtime.
Thompson, a defensive-minded player, did a nice job guarding E’Twaun Moore. The rookie also hit two quick three-pointers in the first quarter. Thompson also had a nifty tip in from the weak side to extend the Sixers’ lead to eight with 5:30 to go in the game.
4. More of the same for MCW
Fresh off being named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, Michael Carter-Williams continued to post big numbers, nabbing his first career triple-double. With 27 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Carter-Williams got the triple-double and his sixth double-double of the season.
Carter-Williams was squared up against fellow rookie, Victor Oladipo, who was drafted No. 2 overall last June, nine spots ahead of MCW.
Oladipo scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists for dueling triple-doubles by the rookies.
5. Shooting from the hip
How well did the Magic shoot the ball on Tuesday? Try this: Orlando missed 10 of the last 16 shots it took to close out the first half and still were shooting 57 percent from the field at that point of the game.
The Magic went 11 for 16 in the first quarter and made five straight to open the second quarter. They did not miss two shots in a row until there was 3:40 left in the first half.
The Magic pulled some crazy shots out of their hats. Glen Davis hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds left in the game to force overtime. It was Davis’ first three-pointer since April of 2012 and only the seventh of his career.
Additionally, Aaron Afflalo hit for a career-high 43 points with five threes.
Not bad for a team that was playing the second game of a back-to-back.
6. Blow the whistle
A few of the Sixers players did not appear very pleased with the officiating work from referees, Marc Davis, Scott Wall and James Williams. Evan Turner (24 points, five assists, six rebounds) had an ongoing conversation with the officials throughout the game and Hawes was visibly upset after several calls.
Rookie Brandon Davies was whistled for a technical foul during the fourth quarter.
Even referee Davis got into it by staring down Turner seemingly looking for an excuse to call a technical foul.
Yes, players complain about foul calls … a lot. But even by the typical standard, the chirping and apparent displeasure over the refs’ work was notable.
And yes, it’s rare to see a ref in the NBA take a confrontational stance like Davis did. NBA refs are not like Major League Baseball umpires. At least not usually.