Instant Replay: Spurs 113, Sixers 91


Instant Replay: Spurs 113, Sixers 91


SAN ANTONIO -- Sixers head coach Brett Brown received some friendly greetings in his return to San Antonio, but all the warmth was gone once the game started against the Spurs.

The Sixers lost their 25th straight, with an early run at success giving way to a lopsided 113-91 loss to the veteran Spurs on Monday.

Brown served as an assistant under San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich for seven seasons prior to being named the Sixers' head coach this past offseason.

It was the Sixers' ninth straight loss to the Spurs and their sixth straight in San Antonio. The Sixers dropped both games to San Antonio this season by a combined 46 points.

Turning point
Success proved to be the Sixers' downfall.

Elliot Williams’ dunk over Tim Duncan tied the game at 19 all, leading Popovich to call timeout with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter.

Whatever “advice” the fiery Spurs coach gave his team resulted in the Spurs going on a 26-5 tear, capped by a 19-0 run.

Byron Mullens’ three-pointer ended a six-and-half-minute drought, but San Antonio had a 45-27 lead and would never trail by less than 10 points the remainder of the game.

Follow the leader
Seldom-used Austin Daye led San Antonio with 22 points, going 6 for 10 on three-pointers in falling six points shy of his career high. Duncan had 19 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes while sitting out the fourth quarter.

Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams scored 17 points each and Mullens added 15 points for the Sixers.

Taking a break
San Antonio sat starters Tony Parker, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter.

The Sixers only had seven players score, and six of those were in double figures.

Put me in coach
After averaging just 2.3 minutes while seeing action in only four games since being acquired from Toronto on Feb. 20, Daye played 29 minutes in the victory. He finished 8 for 13 from the field and had six rebounds.

Popovich was asked prior to the game if he felt bad for Brown, who he described as “one of my best friends.”

“I feel terribly for him, but I don’t feel sorry for him. I feel badly for him because he has to go through it, but I don’t need to feel sorry for him. He would be angry if he knew I felt sorry for him because he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him.”

What’s next?
A date with infamy?

The Sixers will get to enjoy a little sun before facing the Houston Rockets on Thursday in the second game of a Texas two-step.

A loss in Houston would be the 26th straight for the Sixers, matching the dubious league record set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010-2011 for most consecutive losses.

The Rockets rolled to a 100-89 victory over Charlotte on Monday night, their fourth straight win.

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

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."