Michael Carter-Williams defends Tony Parker during the Sixers' 109-85 loss to the Spurs. (USA Today Images)
There is no question that the San Antonio Spurs are the gold standard in the NBA. They are on pace to win at least 50 games for a 15th consecutive season.
The Sixers were no match for the men in black during Monday's 109-85 loss to the Spurs at the Wells Fargo Center. The defeat dropped the Sixers’ record to 4-4, while the Spurs moved to 7-1.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich rested future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan because the team was playing on back-to-back nights. Clearly, the Spurs didn’t need the 37-year-old power forward on this night.
They scored 31 points in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Spurs separated themselves from the Sixers during the final two and a half minutes of the opening period. San Antonio went on a 12-0 run to stretch a six-point lead to 18 points. That scoring spurt capped off a quarter in which the Spurs shot 53 percent, compared to 27 from the Sixers.
Follow the leader
Tony Parker controlled the game, scoring 14 points and handing out nine assists. Five other Spurs scored in double figures.
Evan Turner led the Sixers with 20 points. Spencer Hawes had his fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
The Sixers died on the three-point sword yet again against the Spurs.
San Antonio entered the game shooting 38 percent from behind the arc. The Spurs are averaging seven made-threes per game, and had one more than that at halftime.
By game’s end, San Antonio had made 13 of 28 from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Sixers were 5 for 19 from distance.
Take a bow
Three years ago, Danny Green played 16 games in the NBA’s Developmental League. He averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from long range. He appeared in only eight games with the Spurs that season.
By last year, Green had found his way into the Spurs’ starting lineup and averaged 10.5 points a night.
This season, Green, the 46th overall pick in 2009, is averaging just 8.6 points per game. However, against the Sixers, the sharpshooter connected on 5 of 7 three-point attempts and finished with 18 points.
After Brett Brown faced his former employer Monday, president/general manager Sam Hinkie will see his former franchise when the Houston Rockets come to town on Wednesday. Hinkie worked for the Rockets for eight seasons, and was last the executive vice president of basketball operations before leaving to join the Sixers.
The Rockets are led in scoring by James Harden, who is averaging 24.7 points per game. Dwight Howard is averaging a double-double with 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per night.