Instant Replay: Nuggets 101, Sixers 100

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Instant Replay: Nuggets 101, Sixers 100

BOX SCORE

DENVER -- The Sixers came into Denver prepared to face a Nuggets team riding a 13-game winning streak and boasting a 30-3 record at home inside the Pepsi Center.

The game had all the making of a lopsided loss, but the Sixers instead turned it into a gut-wrenching 101-100 defeat.

With 7.1 seconds remaining on the clock, Evan Turner stepped to the free throw line to ice the game but missed both shots.

On the ensuing Denver possession, Corey Brewer was fouled by Damien Wilkins on a three-point attempt. Brewer converted all three free throws to give the Nuggets a 101-100 lead with 2.1 seconds left in the game.

The Sixers’ final shot at the buzzer was blocked to give them their 15 straight loss on the road.

"We weren't supposed to win that game," former Sixer Andre Iguodala told CSN's Molly Sullivan afterward. "We weren't supposed to win tonight."

Turning point
Damien Wilkins shook off a foul from Andre Miller to score on the low block with 2:07 left in the game. His bucket gave the Sixers an eight-point lead, but he was unable to convert the ensuing free throw.

Still, that should have been enough for the Sixers to close out the game. Instead, they scored just two more points the rest of the way, while turnovers and poor execution sealed their fate.

Follow the leader
Spencer Hawes had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season. He also blocked four shots.

Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 15 assists for his 19th double-double. Holiday’s 15 assists tied his season high.

Wilkins scored 24 points, while Thaddeus Young added 18.

Brewer scored a game-high 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He also made 5 of 6 shots from beyond the arc.

Andre Miller started for the injured Ty Lawson and scored 21 points. Iguodala added 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Stat-egic
Since the Nuggets play at a frenetic pace, they tend to turn the ball over more than most teams. Denver averages 15.2 turnovers per game, tied for 25th-worst in the NBA.

The Sixers are second in the league in giveaways at just 13.1 per game.

Both teams were sloppy with the ball on Thursday. The Sixers turned it over 22 times, while the Nuggets had 19 turnovers for the night.

Take a bow
Wilkins has been a real bright spot for the Sixers during the back half of this disappointing season.

Wilkins made his seventh straight start Thursday night and scored in double figures for a seventh time in his last nine games. He finished with a team-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

What’s next?
The Sixers continue their four-game road swing with a game at Sacramento on Sunday.

The Kings average 99.7 points per game, but they give up a league-worst 104.8 points a night.

Sacramento is led in scoring and rebounding by DeMarcus Cousins, who averages 17.0 and 10.0 respectively. Chester product Tyreke Evans is second on the team in scoring with 15.6 points a game.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.