Brown: Sixers' win over Lakers 'validated' all their hard work
The Sixers outscored the Lakers 11-5 after Michael Carter-Williams' late foul on Nick Young's jumper. (USA Today Images)
LOS ANGELES -- They are the kind of plays that drive a coach crazy. They are the kind of plays that can cost a team a much-needed win. They are the kind of plays that are committed by young players who just have a lapse in judgment for a split second.
With 9:44 to play in the fourth quarter Sunday night, Sixers rookie Brandon Davies flew at Lakers forward Ryan Kelly, who was attempting a three-pointer.
Kelly didn’t make the shot, but Davies was whistled for the foul. Kelly made all three free throws to shrink a comfortable Sixers lead from eight points to five.
Then at the 3:45 mark, Michael Carter-Williams fouled Nick Young on what was thought to be a three-point attempt with the Sixers leading, 100-97.
They changed the call to a two-point attempt, both of which Young made. Young finished 12 for 12 at the line.
The Sixers eventually prevailed, 111-104.
“Do I want to strangle those two young men? Let me think,” Brett Brown said when asked what crossed his mind when his team was desperately trying to snap a 13-game road losing streak.
“Their heart is in the right place, they just get lifted,” Brown continued. “Smart players will lift you and with the NBA rules all you have to do is lean six inches forward and brush somebody and it is a foul and it is the correct call, so the discipline is on us.”
Discipline is the key. It is not as if Davies or MCW don’t know that fouling a jump-shooter is a definite sin in basketball circles, but they follow their instincts and leave their feet, opening the door for the offensive player to get points the easy way.
“You can’t get lifted,” Brown said. “You have to close out short and contest late. We have put so much emphasis on the three that they go out there as young players trying to do the right thing but then they just get too over enthusiastic.”
The Lakers finished 12 for 37 (32.4 percent) from beyond the arc. It was the 15th game this season the Sixers' opponent has made double-digit three-pointers.
In the Sixers' next film session, you can bet that both fourth-quarter plays will be on display and discussed.