Lavoy Allen Has Breakout Performance, Wants His Piece of the Burger

Lavoy Allen Has Breakout Performance, Wants His Piece of the Burger

The Sixers' crowd on Monday evening at the Wells Fargo Center to take in the 103-83 throttling of the Washington Wizards was a modest one to say the least, with announced attendance a shade over 10,000 fans. But the fans that did brave the unpleasant weather conditions appeared to be the South Philly regulars this season season, here every night to watch Doug Collins and his hard-working Sixers go a nasty 8-1 on their home court.

You see, they know. They know exactly what happens when the Sixers reach the century mark on the scoreboard.

Part of me hates it. In a game when the 76ers were clicking on all cylinders -- "We executed, we didn't turn the ball over, we made the extra pass, our defense was brilliant," Doug Collins said after the game -- it's somewhat annoying to the hardcore basketball fan in me to see the crowd get up off their feet, the loudest the Center was all night, for when the scoreboard read 99 points with two minutes left to play.

For some strange, bizarre reason, fans who come to Sixers games this season go super-sized nuts when the team hits 100 points in a game, rewarding every ticket holder in attendance with a free Big Mac the next day at McDonalds. And the player who hits the bucket to send them in to triple digits is showered in cheers like delicious golden french fries are showered in salt.

Our distaste for this faux basketball excitement aside, we were quite happy to see former Temple star Lavoy Allen get the honors on Monday evening, hitting the big shot to send the Sixers to 101 points. But don't think Lavoy doesn't want his piece of the burger.

"I'm expecting a couple of them to give me their tickets," Allen joked after the game of the fans cheering for his big bucket. "I'm feeling for a couple of Big Macs tomorrow."

But did the pressure of the moment -- of 7,000,000 calories, of 440,000 grams of fat, of 1,400,000 milligrams of cholesterol -- get to him when he squared up in the fourth for the big jumper?

Not a chance.

"I had a feeling it was going in," Lavoy said.

All jokes aside, Allen's performance was by far the best of his young career and it came on a night when the Sixers really did need it. They were without their two best big men in Spencer Hawes and rookie Nik Vucevic, and Tony Battie is certainly getting up there in age and can only give you so many minutes. Lavoy knew coming into the night he'd likely get a chance to show what he's capable of.

Allen entered tonight's game against the Wizards with just 7 career points on 3-7 from the field in three appearances this season. He put up a career-high 10 points on Monday night by shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field in 17 minutes of action.

"I just try to play the same way all the time, not to get too nervous, not to get too fast, just play my game," Lavoy said of his best performance to date. "The guys have been telling me all year long, whenever I get the opportunity to go in there, to show what I can do. Be ready at all times because you never know what can happen. I was ready whenever coach called my name."

Coach Collins praised his other rookie big man for his effort and gave him the coveted "Ace of Spades Award" given to his best player on any given night.

"How about our boy Lavoy Allen?" Coach Collins said after the game. "What a coming out party for Lavoy tonight.

"It was great. It was one of the first times I've seen him really smile and really see his personality. Lavoy's good. He's big, he's strong, he can shoot the ball. He's got a good feel for the game. And you know, it's interesting how it works, I always tell guys in this league you've got to be ready when you're called on and Lavoy played a few minutes down in Miami that I think helped him the other day. And he came in tonight and gave everybody hamburgers too, so he's gonna be the real hero."

Allen, a stud during his college days with the Temple Owls, is no stranger to success, but the one knock on his game was always the seemingly inconsistent effort. Coach Collins says he has yet to see that linger in Lavoy's short time in the League.

"I talked to him about it when we drafted him," Collins said after the win. "I said Lavoy, 'you know it's interesting, no one has ever told me you're not talented, you're not big, you're not strong, you don't have great hands, you can't shoot, you're not a good defender. I've never heard anybody say those things. All I've ever heard anybody say is you've got a low motor. Well you can change that. I can't change it for you but if you want to play with the energy you can play with, you've got a chance to be really good."

Now, perhaps it was the magical powers of one Ronald McDonald, but the Golden Arch's stock price (MCD) closed at $100 and some change on Monday afternoon? The same exact point total needed to give 10,100 Philadelphians free big Macs. Eerie.

We'll let Lavoy savor this one for a while, just like a Big Mac burp you can still taste a day later.

"Now I get to be the crowd favorite for at least another 24 hours," Lavoy said.

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

Best of NFL: Redskins notch 1st win vs. Giants; Cowboys rout Bears

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  -- Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for his fifth of the game and the Washington Redskins avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start with a 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants on Sunday.

Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 44 yards to DeSean Jackson and 55 to Jamison Crowder as the banged-up Redskins (1-2) handed new coach Ben McAdoo his first loss with the Giants (2-1).

Su'a Cravens ended the Giants' final drive with an interception in New York territory. It was Eli Manning's second pick of the quarter, with the other coming in the end zone by Quinton Dunbar after New York got to the Redskins 15 on a big play by Odell Beckham Jr.

This was a wild NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit (see full recap).

Prescott, Cowboys rout Bears on SNF
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox (see full recap).

Vikings stop Newton, snap Panthers' home win streak
CHARLOTTE, N.C.  -- The Minnesota Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries --and keep finding ways to win football games.

Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score and the Vikings snapped the Carolina Panthers' 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.

The Vikings put the clamps on Cam Newton, intercepting the league's reigning MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one of those resulting in a safety by Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second-most ever against Newton.

"We have a great team -- the best team I have been a part of," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who had three sacks. "We come from every area on the field and we get sacks."

Said Newton: "They were dictating to us after they got the momentum."

The Vikings improved 3-0 despite losing running back Adrian Peterson and offensive tackle Matt Kalil to injuries last week. They lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason (see full recap).

Bills bounce back with win over Cardinals
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.  -- LeSean McCoy scored twice and safety Aaron Williams returned a botched field-goal snap 53 yards for a touchdown in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 33-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 20-yard run at a time the Rex Ryan-coached Bills spent the past week taking the brunt of criticism after opening the season 0-2.

The win also came on the heels of Ryan firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman and replacing him with running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

McCoy scored on 24- and 5-yard runs, and finished with 110 yards rushing after combining for just 117 in his first two games. Taylor had 76 yards rushing, including a 49-yarder, the longest by a quarterback in team history (see full recap).

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Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

Doug Pederson: For the Eagles, 'this was a good benchmark'

On his way to the locker room following his team's stunning 34-3 victory over the Steelers, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacted, well, like you probably did.

Pederson had to be surprised by what had just transpired. After all, this wasn't the Browns or the Bears. This was the Steelers, who entered the game with the second-best odds behind New England, per Bovada, of winning the Super Bowl (the Patriots were first). 

And the Eagles didn't just beat them. They clobbered them.

But minutes later, when Pederson met the media for his postgame press conference, he tried his best to act like it was no big thing.

“I told the team way back in OTAs that it just takes a little bit of belief," Pederson said. "Belief in themselves. Trust the process. Believe in the coaches and the coaches believe in one another. That’s what they did tonight. 

"Am I surprised? A little. But at the same time, I know that locker room, I know those guys and I know what they are building. By no means have we accomplished anything yet. The season is still extremely young. But what they did tonight just proves that they are coming together as a football team.”

Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Doug. It's OK to be surprised. Scratch that. Make that stunned. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. But now? Forget that. 

At least for the next two weeks. The Eagles are on their bye week and don't play again until Oct. 9 at Detroit. 

“It is still a young season, only three games. This was a good benchmark," Pederson said. "That’s a good football team, the Steelers are a great football team. They are going to be there at the end, they always are. Coach (Mike) Tomlin always has those guys ready to play. 

"But for our guys, it is just a little glimpse of that belief that I have been saying since the spring and summer. If they just do their jobs, I just feel that good things can happen. We just protect each other in that dressing room in there and keep coming to work everyday.”

Pederson is the only head coach in team history to win each of his first three games. It's only the ninth time the Eagles have started 3-0.

And of course, a big reason they've done so is their prodigy quarterback Carson Wentz, who became only the second rookie in team history to record a 300-yard passing game (Nick Foles is the other).

More impressively, Wentz now has attempted 102 straight passes without an interception, the longest streak ever begin an NFL career (per ESPN). Dallas'  Dak Prescott is at 99 after the Cowboys beat up the Bears.

But don't ask Pederson to admit he's amazed by Wentz or the fact he had the presence of mind to make plays like the riveting 73-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles (much more on that here).

“You know, you just put on his college film. Just watch him," Pederson said. "We exhausted his college tape and those were the plays that he made at North Dakota State. That play tonight was just a tremendous play by both he and Darren Sproles. Those are the types of things that we know he can do. He just keeps gaining confidence every single week.”

As does the defense, which kept one of the league's most potent offenses out of the end zone

"They just weren’t going to be denied," Pederson said. "They just weren’t going to bow their necks. They weren’t going to let them in the endzone. It just came down to our will versus theirs and I was just so happy with the way the guys played. Just a great team effort.”