Sixers in sync at both ends in win vs. Nuggets
Taking on Ty Lawson for the first time, Michael Carter-Williams finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. (USA Today Images)
DENVER -- Two of a kind and two in a row.
That’s what the Sixers accomplished with a 114-102 win over the Nuggets Wednesday night, bringing their record to 10-21 (see Instant Replay).
It’s the first time since Nov. 2 the Sixers have won consecutive games.
“I try not to get too caught up looking at the bad stuff,” Spencer Hawes said. “It felt good to have a game where we played the way we wanted to play and followed the game plan defensively where we got enough stops to get a win.”
The Sixers shot 46.7 percent for the game, and the Nuggets shot 39.6 percent.
The Sixers were fueled by a 44-point second quarter -- the most they have scored in any given quarter since 1996 -- and at the defensive end of the floor, where they held the Nuggets to 26 points in the quarter.
“I thought our bench came in and did a great job,” Brett Brown said. “I thought the work we have been trying to do on defense slowly took its toll and enabled us to get out and run and gave us a little bit of an edge.
“I thought the second quarter got us rolling through the defense, and our second unit.”
The Sixers shot 64 percent in the second quarter and held Denver to 39 percent shooting. The Sixers' bench scored eight of the 44 points, but they did plenty that did not show up in the box score.
“My overall perspective of the game is that the second unit pulled it off for us,” Thaddeus Young, who had his sixth double-double of the season (17 points, 10 rebounds), said. “Overall the whole second unit came in, played their roles to a tee and got us the win.”
Young was one of seven Sixers in double figures. Evan Turner led them all with 23 points.
“Everybody is coming together and I think we are moving the ball well,” Turner said of the Sixers’ balanced scoring attack. “And we are running. That’s the biggest thing. We are doing a lot of great things.”
The Sixers outscored the Nuggets, 17-5, on the fast break, and scored 54 of their 114 points in the paint.
Coming into the game, Brown had concerns about how the high altitude would affect his players, knowing that pushing the pace was still a must.
As it turned out the Sixers were helped by a first quarter that saw 18 free throws attempted between the two squads.
“As it was happening I was almost viewing it as timeouts,” Brown said of the constant foul calls. “With the high altitude, maybe that was a good thing at the start. I just felt it was a lot of opportunities to get our guys rest early.
“You know how concerned I was on that second wind and how everyone responds differently. Because of that I didn’t think it was a bad thing, but then it got to be a bit erratic -- stop, start, stop, start.”
The Nuggets dropped their eighth straight game, and for the first time in his 15 years in the NBA, former Sixer Andre Miller didn’t play, sitting out as a coach’s decision.