Sixers-Knicks: Inside the box score

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Sixers-Knicks: Inside the box score

The Sixers lost their 23rd game in a row Friday night to the Knicks (see story) and all that stands in front of them and the longest losing streak in NBA history are games in Chicago, San Antonio and Houston.

No biggie.

In the meantime, here are a few notes and numbers from the 93-92 loss:

• The Sixers’ losing streak is the second-longest single-season skid in NBA history. The Cavaliers lost 24 straight over two seasons and own the overall record with 26 straight losses in 2010-11.

• The Sixers shot a franchise-record 41 three-pointers in the loss to the Knicks. It breaks the old mark of 35 set in Dallas on Dec. 18, 2012 and at home against Indiana on Nov. 20, 1996. The 41 three-pointers are tied for the most attempts in the NBA this season. Houston shot 41 threes against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 13, and the Knicks fired up 41 in Milwaukee on Dec. 18. Both of those games went to overtime.

• Michael Carter-Williams came an assist away from his third triple-double of the season. The rookie finished the game with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. It was Carter-Williams’ 14th double-double this season and he is averaging 9.1 rebounds in March. In four games against the Knicks, Carter-Williams is averaging 18.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists.

• Center Henry Sims had career-bests of 16 points and 13 rebounds Friday night. It also was his second double-double of the season.

• The Sixers shot 37.4 percent from the floor and were 17 for 60 on shots outside of the paint. The Sixers also have shot under 40 percent in 10 of their last 18 games and are 0-20 when not cracking a 40 percent on field goals.

• Thad Young topped 20 points for the fifth straight game. He had a seven-game 20-plus scoring streak last season, which made up most of his dozen 20-plus scoring games. 

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Sixers and Knicks missed 53 three-pointers in the game. That’s the most combined misses in the NBA this year.

• Amar’e Stoudemire led the Knicks with 22 points and 10 rebounds. It’s the veteran's third double-double of the season and his second in March. In three games against the Sixers this season, Stoudemire averaged 22 points on 77.1 percent shooting in 26.7 minutes per game.

Sixers' '66-'67 team reflects on success of 'best team ever'

Sixers' '66-'67 team reflects on success of 'best team ever'

As part of their “Salute Saturday” series, the Sixers honored the 1966-67 championship team at halftime of their 107-106 loss the Celtics on Saturday.

Fifty years after winning the title, the success of the squad (which went 68-13 in the regular season) still resonates with those representing the Sixers today. After all, they are the group Wilt Chamberlain described as “the best team ever.” 

“It’s just part of the history of this city and the organization,” said Brett Brown, who has established a relationship with Billy Cunningham through practice visits and emails. “There was a toughness with that team that he personified and the city sort of reflects. It’s stuff you hear me talk about all the time how you want our team to reflect the spirit of the city. That team did it.”

Prior to their tribute ceremony, members of the team reflected on their run in which they beat the San Francisco Warriors for the title. 

On Wilt Chamberlain
“Wilt was such a dominant figure, not only as a basketball player, but he’s almost bigger than the game,” Matt Goukas said. “He played so well, he was such a good team player – he started really passing the ball right around that time --and that enabled great scorers like Hal (Greer) and Billy and Chet Walker to do their thing, and Wilt was very happy to give them that leeway.”.

On fond memories
“It was a team that we played well together and we lived as a family and that’s what made it so good for us," Greer said. "A lot of fun, a lot of fun. We missed the next year, but 68-13 is not bad at all.”

“It’s hard to forget a situation like that where we had such a terrific team and the season went so quickly, we won so many games and then of course winning a championship,” Goukas said. “As a first year player I said, ‘This is the way it’s supposed to be, I guess.’ But of course I never won another championship as a player, but we had such a terrific group of guys and true professionals that for me as a rookie, Billy Melchionni as a rookie, we really benefited from guys like Hal Greer, Wally Jones and Harry Costello, they really showed us the way.”

On team chemistry
“It was very difficult times when you look at the sixties from a social aspect,” Cunningham said. “Martin Luther King was killed the following year we won the championship. Race relationships weren’t the best. And this time, which was just about half black-half white, I’m not even sure, it was never an issue. That’s the beauty I think of being on a team you know getting to know people, you judge them as an individual and nothing more than that.”

“I think it was our coach Alex Hannum, for one (that kept the team together),” Greer said. “And of course the big guy. He held us together most of the time, he could rebound, play defense, do it all.”

Sixers burned by yet another point guard in loss to Celtics

Sixers burned by yet another point guard in loss to Celtics

The Sixers had been burned by point guards before. Many times, actually. 

Just a week ago, Kyrie Irving dropped 39 points in the Cavs' 112-108 win. Nineteen came in the decisive fourth quarter. 

On Saturday Isaiah Thomas did the same damage. The undersized All-Star tied his season-high with 37 points in the Celtics' comeback 107-106 victory (see instant replay).

“Isaiah’s an All-Star,” Jahlil Okafor said. “He showed us why tonight. He’s the head of their team and came up big for them like he usually does.” 

Thomas made his impact in spurts. During the Celtics' 9-0 second quarter run, he scored six of those points. In the fourth quarter, in which the game was decided, he dropped 12 straight Celtics points. Thomas finished the night 11 for 19 for the field and only 2 of 3 from three. 

The most telling stat was at the free throw line. Thomas shot 13 for 15 after attacking and drawing fouls, a point of emphasis by head coach Brad Stevens for the second half. 

Thomas scored 15 points in the first half. He noticed a change in the Sixers defense in the second and capitalized on it. The Celtics ability to stretch the floor with their three-point shooting bigs also created opportunities for Thomas to get to the rim. 

“In the second half they sat back a little bit and they were switching a lot,” Thomas explained, also noting, “We wanted to put Okafor in a pick-and-roll. He sits far back. I just wanted to attack him downhill. It’s hard for bigs to move those bigs legs they’ve got. So I just tried to stay in attack mode and I saw we were in the bonus.”

The Sixers have had problems defending the one spot all season. Isaiah Thomas is the fifth starting point guard to score 30 points or more against them. He joins Russell Westbrook (32), Jeff Teague (30 in overtime), James Harden (33) and Irving. Another five (Kemba Walker, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry) have scored 20 or more points. 

The oneness of these high-scoring point guards doesn’t fall solely on the Sixers backcourt, where Sergio Rodriguez has been assuming the starting role in place of the oft-injured Jerryd Bayless. These opponents have been doing their work inside the arc. Of the five who have scored 30, only two (Harden and Irving) attempted more than three treys. 

“We’re all working hard trying to stop them, but it’s easier said than done,” Okafor said. 

The next point guard the Sixers will face is Emmanuel Mudiay when they take on the Nuggets Monday. Last season Mudiay hit the game-winning, buzzer-beating three in Denver.