Brett Brown promised when the Sixers headed overseas that they would compete and play hard in their two contests as a part of the NBA’s Global Games.
They did just again on Tuesday, although without the desired outcome on the scoreboard.
The Sixers suffered a 103-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Manchester, England. This after the Sixers beat Bilbao Basket 106-104 on Sunday in Spain.
Evan Turner and Tony Wroten again appeared willing to attack the basket. Wroten led the way with 20 points, while Turner added 19. The perimeter duo again combined for 16 free throw attempts.
Brown’s squad attempted 31 free throws overall in the game, 10 more than the Thunder. The Sixers also shot 40 percent from the three-point line.
Spencer Hawes looked sharp on offense and finished 5 of 11 for 11 points to go along with his team-high nine rebounds. Hawes had just one field goal on Sunday.
Brown preached during training camp that he is not “three happy” and that his team must get to the paint. The Sixers found the right balance in their two games abroad.
While the Sixers will certainly take those positives away from those two games, they have to realize that things will not exactly play out that way in the regular season.
Kevin Durant will not sit out many fourth quarters during the Thunder’s regular-season schedule, as he did on Tuesday against the Sixers. Durant scored 14 of OKC’s 35 third-quarter points to finish with 21 and put the Thunder up nine entering the final frame.
The Sixers’ 20 turnovers will also be difficult to overcome once the real action starts. They did force the Thunder into 19 turnovers to even the field, but the fact that All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is still sidelined after knee surgery has to be taken into account.
The Sixers’ conditioning level as a group appeared to be higer than is often seen in early preseason games, which certainly helped them in both games.
The Sixers will now return home before facing the Celtics on Friday at 7 p.m. in Newark, Del.