SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The time was right. The players were ready. As a result, the Sixers’ road losing streak stopped at 15 and it came three days after the streak should have ended against the Nuggets, if only the Sixers had held on in the final moments.
The past can’t be changed and the future holds unknowns, leaving the Sixers an opportunity in the present to play hard and they did that Sunday in a 117-103 win over the Kings (see Instant Replay).
“It finally feels good to win on the road,” Doug Collins said. “I am so happy for our guys and the way they bounced back after that tough, tough loss in Denver. It says a lot about our guys at this stage in the season to come out and fight.”
The win pulls the Sixers’ record to 27-42 with 13 games remaining, nine of which are on the road. The Sixers’ victory at Sleep Train Arena was just their seventh away from the Wells Fargo Center -- it was also 82 days in the making.
“Oh, wow, I didn’t know anyone was counting -- don’t write that down,” Dorell Wright said of the 82 days between road wins. “It is the NBA. You have to bring your game each and every night. I think we have done a great job some games and some games have gotten away from us. The number-one thing is to build from this.”
“That is the equivalent of your summer vacation when you are in grade school,” Spencer Hawes said. “We thought we had it last game but we don’t need to talk about what happened there, but it was good for us to bounce back and get it out of the way tonight.”
The Sixers shot 49 percent from the floor and made 8 of 21 shots from behind the arc. Wright contributed six of those made threes and led the team with 22 points. He was not the only 20-point scorer to come off the bench -- Lavoy Allen tallied a career-high 20 points.
“It was great to see Dorell break out tonight,” Collins said. “I thought that group came in and gave us a big lift to start the second quarter.”
Wright has been playing well. For Allen, this was a first in quite some time.
“He was unbelievable coming out and stretching it with that jumper and then in the second half getting into the paint and going after guys hard,” Hawes said of Allen’s play. “And that pass he made to Thad [Young] late was a big bucket for us and the pass was great over the shoulder -- that kind of sealed it.”
“He was getting the ball in his spots, knocking down open shots,” Wright said of Allen. “He was going to the basket a lot and we need him each and every night and he is capable of doing it. I am always happy to see one of my teammates play well especially if he hasn’t had the same opportunity, so it was good to see him out there and playing well.”
Collins understands that an effective Allen makes the Sixers’ frontcourt deeper and more dangerous.
“When he is active, you can see what kind of player Lavoy is,” Collins said. “When he plays like that and I am getting good minutes out of Arnett [Moultrie], we then have four big guys.”
Hawes is one of those big guys who had the Sacramento crowd riled up. The ex-King made a comment about his former club’s possible move to Seattle, his hometown.
“As a Seattleite, that wouldn’t break my heart at all,” Hawes said, sporting a grin from ear to ear.
In result, every time Hawes touched the ball, the big man was showered in boos.
“They told me they were going to do that on Twitter all day, so it did not catch me by surprise,” Hawes said. “I kind of like that stuff. It gets me going. It was fun. It is always fun to come back here and play in front of the fans -- it adds a little extra to it.”
Hawes finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season.
“I love Spence,” Collins said. “They were booing him every time he touched the ball and the first time he touched it, he stepped in and knocked down a 20-foot jump shot. It was a great win for us and I am really happy for our guys.”