Instant Replay: Clippers 107, Sixers 90


Instant Replay: Clippers 107, Sixers 90


The Los Angeles Clippers lead the Pacific Division and two All-Stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They also have proved that they are a complete team by winning 18 consecutive games earlier this season.

The Sixers may have an All-Star of their own, but they are far from being a well-rounded team. They were dominated from start to finish in a 107-90 loss to the Clippers on Monday to close out their eight-game homestand.

The Sixers allowed the Clippers to shoot 59 percent from the floor, including 8 of 19 from three-point range as their record dropped to 22-28.

Turning point
The Clippers were been dubbed “Lob City” Clippers with high-fliers Griffin and DeAndre Jordon on the roster. The highlight dunks from those two may get all the attention, but the Clippers actually do get after opponents defensively as they hold teams to the fourth-fewest points per game (93.6).

Los Angeles led 30-22 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Clippers limited the Sixers to 11 points on 5-for-22 shooing. The Clippers took a comfortable 23-point lead into the locker room at the half and never looked back.

Follow the leader
Griffin and Paul put on a show Monday night. Paul scored 21 points and handed out 11 assists in 25 minutes. Griffin totaled 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists. Jordan pulled down 10 boards and scored eight points.

Nick Young snapped out of his shooting slump to lead the Sixers with 29 points. Evan Turner, Jeremy Pargo and Jrue Holiday were the only other Sixers in double figures with 10 points each.

Lavoy Allen grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds on Saturday against Charlotte. Against the Clippers, Allen played 29 minutes and did not have a rebound until there was 2:30 left to play in the third quarter.

Allen pulled down just one more board before his night ended.

Take a bow
Jamal Crawford is a good bet to win Sixth Man of the Year. He came off the Clippers’ bench to score 20 points on an efficient 8-for-10 shooting.

What’s next?
The Sixers play their final game before the All-Star break in Milwaukee Wednesday night.

The Bucks beat the Sixers for a second time this season on Jan. 22 at the Bradley Center, 110-102. Milwaukee has since slipped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

In that meeting the Bucks’ guards dominated the Sixers’ backcourt. Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, while Monta Ellis dropped in 18. The duo combined to shoot 15 for 27 from the floor.

Meanwhile, Holiday and Royal Ivey were 6 of 15 together for 17 points.

Ersan Ilyasova led all scorers with 27 points and was high man in rebounding with 16.

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."

Joel Embiid ends preseason on impressive note, has Sixers excited

Joel Embiid ends preseason on impressive note, has Sixers excited

MIAMI — It’s a cautious optimism to be sure — there can be no other type for the Sixers right now given their history of injuries — but you can tell the team is starting to get excited about Joel Embiid.

In Friday’s 113-110 exhibition finale win over the Miami Heat (see game story), Embiid scored 18 points in 18 minutes before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

The 7-0 center, who missed his first two NBA seasons because of foot surgeries, made 8 of 16 shots and 2 of 2 on free throws, adding a game-high nine rebounds.

“I’ve always felt like I’m a complete player — that’s what I do,” Embiid said. “I’m starting to get easy points.

“I just got better every game [in the preseason], defensively, offensively.”

Sixers coach Brett Brown said he is still learning how to best use Embiid.

Brown added that the rust is apparent in Embiid’s game. But …

“He is as self-taught as any player I’ve ever been around,” Brown said. “He grew up in Cameroon and hasn’t played a lot (because of injuries). But he studies, he looks at stuff. He pays attention. He’s instinctively curious.

“There’s a lot of stuff in his head that he thinks through. His mind is quicker than his feet. At times, his core, his balance and his decision-making are off because his mind is working faster than his body.”

Embiid scored most of his buckets on Friday at close range — a finger roll, a tip-in, a couple of put-back dunks, an alley-oop dunk and a fast-break layup. But he did make a 10-foot jumper and took — but missed — a three-point try.

“He does stuff in a game that makes you step back and say, ‘Wow,’” Brown said. “He will trail and hit a three. He will have a pound, pound drop-step, dunk.

“Like a traditional post, he will turn his face and make a bank shot. He has that up-and-under stuff.

“But he’s raw. His preseason has been highlighted by those few things that you notice, all under the umbrella of, ‘He really has a chance to be very, very good.’"

Brown was asked to summarize the Sixers' 2-5 preseason, and he called it a “completely erratic” exhibition season because of injuries.

“Jahlil [Okafor] hasn’t practiced,” Brown said. “Joel has been steady and incremental. I think we all see that Dario Saric has got a lot to offer. I think the pairing of Joel and Dario was solid.

“We’ve seen Jerami [Grant] have a really good preseason. Richaun Holmes has taken his opportunity to play big minutes. Those type of things come to my mind.”