Instant Replay: Magic 112, Sixers 109 (OT)

Instant Replay: Magic 112, Sixers 109 (OT)

BOX SCORE

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Sixers squandered another opportunity for a last-second win in Orlando, instead starting a five-game road trip with a disheartening and physically draining 112-109 overtime loss to the Magic on Monday.

Terrence Ross knocked down a fallaway jumper with 34.7 seconds to go in overtime, then followed with a pair of free throws 17 seconds later to give Orlando a four-point cushion that the Sixers couldn't overcome.

The Sixers got a three-pointer from Nik Stauskas with 11.9 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 108-107, but Evan Fournier and Jodie Meeks finished it for the Magic with 4 of 4 shooting from the free throw line in the final seconds.

The Sixers (26-44) led by as many as 17 points in the second half before getting careless with the ball and decision-making to let Orlando climb back in the game. The Magic (26-45) caught the Sixers when Dario Saric fouled out with 3:52 left in the game and Aaron Gordon made two free throws to tie the game at 92.

The Sixers had a chance to win the game in regulation after T.J. McConnell forced a Magic turnover with 5.7 seconds left. Brett Brown burned a timeout to set up a game-winning attempt but the play never developed and Justin Anderson's drive was easily snuffed by Elfrid Payton as time expired.
 
The Sixers took control of the game early in the second quarter, outscoring Orlando 20-6 over an eight-minute span and finished with a pair of free throws that gave them a 50-35 lead.

Inside the box score
• Richaun Holmes, who averages 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, doubled both in the first half when he had 17 points and nine boards. He tied a career high with 24 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds
    
• Saric had 18 points, but played only 26 minutes before fouling out with just under four minutes left in regulation. 
    
• The four Sixers reserves who played a total of 18 minutes in the first period contributed just two points and one rebound between them. Stauskas rescued the reserves, contributing 17 points to lead bench scorers.
  
Late arrival
The Sixers thought they would have only eight players to start the game, but Anderson, who missed the last game with gastroenteritis, caught a flight from Philadelphia Monday and played. Anderson played 27 minutes and scored one point with seven rebounds.

Injury update
A sore knee forced Jahlil Okafor to miss his 21st game this season. It's the same knee Okafor had surgery on and has bothered him before, but Brown said the team hasn't even considered sitting him out the last month of the season. 

"We're not going to overdramatize something that doesn't need to be overdramatized," Brown said. "You can manufacture a story to make it be serious, but you see him move and it's not as dramatic as it seems. We anticipate him playing soon and chances are when he gets on the floor, he'll be really good."

Gerald Henderson was also held out Monday to rest rather than play in back-to-back games.

Up next
The Sixers continue a five-game road trip with a visit to Oklahoma City for an 8 p.m. contest against the Thunder. The Sixers lost to OKC, 103-97, on opening night in Philadelphia.

NBA Notes: Jamal Crawford chooses Timberwolves over Warriors, Cavaliers

NBA Notes: Jamal Crawford chooses Timberwolves over Warriors, Cavaliers

MINNEAPOLIS -- At 37 years old and having never played in the NBA Finals, Jamal Crawford certainly could have gone ring chasing when he received a buyout from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, who have met in the last three finals, were both interested in the veteran scorer. LeBron James was calling Crawford personally to recruit him to Cleveland.

So naturally, Crawford chose ... the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The Wolves have missed the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. But after Minnesota added Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague this summer, Crawford decided to join Tom Thibodeau's team in hopes of being an integral part of a team trying to break through as opposed to the latest hired gun on an established contender.

"I want to experience it with these guys and go through the wars and the struggles and just really embrace the journey with these guys," Crawford said Wednesday. "To me, that can be even more gratifying than just going to a team that's already made and ready to win a championship. Hopefully, we'll get there, but we'll all go through it together" (see full story).

Spurs: Ginobili indicates he’ll return for 16th season
SAN ANTONIO -- As the clock ticked down on the Spurs' season and Manu Ginobili was pulled from the game, a thunderous roar from the home crowd guided him to the bench.

Ginobili wore an appreciative but quizzical look on his face as he put a warmup shirt back on and prepared to head off into the summer. Clearly, the fans were saying goodbye to one of the most popular players in Spurs history.

Ginobili was not ready to do the same: The Argentinian posted a message on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he is re-signing with San Antonio for another season, which will be his 16th with the Spurs.

"It felt like they wanted me to retire," Ginobili said with a smile after the Spurs were swept out of the Western Conference finals by the Golden State Warriors. "Like they were giving me sort of a celebration night. And of course, I'm getting closer and closer."

Save those goodbyes for at least another year (see full story).

Clippers: Griffin calls decision to stay a ’no-brainer’ 
LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin was back in his usual place, front and center on a Clippers stage.

After opting out of his contract, Griffin didn't spend the offseason toiling over whether to sign with another team -- like his teammate DeAndre Jordan famously did. For Griffin, it was an easy decision to sign a max five-year deal to stay with the only NBA team he's played for in his seven-year career.

"I want to say how excited I am to be back. This has been my home since I was drafted. A lot went into this decision," Griffin said Wednesday. "In the end, I realized this was a no-brainer for me. This is the place where I want to start and finish my career. . This next chapter and next season for the Clippers and myself, I've never been more excited about an opportunity."

Griffin, 28, is undoubtedly the star of the Clippers with Chris Paul gone in the trade with the Rockets that sent Pat Beverley to Los Angeles.

Griffin said he and Paul talked about his decision to want to leave the Clippers.

"No hard feelings," said Griffin, a five-time All-Star. "I think we're all professional enough to know and we've all been in the situation now to know sometimes you have to do what's right and what's best for yourself and your family. I've never had hard feelings with any of my teammates who decided to leave or felt like it was best to leave. I wouldn't start now" (see full story).

Wizards: With Porter deal done, team keeps core intact
WASHINGTON -- Otto Porter is a quiet, complementary piece to the Wizards' talented young core. He is also now Washington's highest-paid player.

At least temporarily.

Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal garner most of the attention as Washington has made it to the second round of the NBA playoffs three of the last four seasons. But for now, Porter makes the most money after the Wizards matched a four-year, $106.5 million max-contract offer sheet the forward signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

There might be questions if the 24-year-old Porter is worth that money. But the Wizards believe he is a good fit alongside Wall, 26, a four-time All-Star, and Beal, 24, one of the league's top shooting guards.

"You just use that as motivation just like John and Brad did," Porter said at a news conference Wednesday. "They set the bar high. I'm going to set my bar, high, too" (see full story).

Grizzlies: PG Chalmers signs contract
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Mario Chalmers, nearly 1 1/2 years after he ruptured his right Achilles tendon playing for the team.

The Grizzlies announced the deal Wednesday. Terms of the contract weren't disclosed.

The 31-year-old Chalmers was injured in March 2016. During the 2015-16 season, Chalmers played 61 games for the Grizzlies and Miami Heat, averaging 10.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds.

Chalmers played for Miami from 2008-15 and was part of the Heat's 2012 and 2013 NBA championship teams.

JJ Redick drops knowledge on his free-agent process in new podcast

JJ Redick drops knowledge on his free-agent process in new podcast

With a new team comes a new podcast.

After recording 40 episodes last year for Yahoo!'s The Vertical, newly signed Sixers guard JJ Redick has now joined UNINTERRUPTED, a digital media company started by LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter that has already gotten contributions from star athletes like Serena Williams, Draymond Green and Rob Gronkowski. 

But Redick is the first athlete on the site to be the sole host of his own podcast, The Chronicles of Redick. His first episode, which dropped Wednesday morning, featured one of his new bosses, Sixers president Bryan Colangelo. 

Together, Redick and Colangelo discussed the fast-paced process that ultimately led the Sixers to ink the former Duke standout to a one-year, $23 million contract on the first day of free agency.

"I'm flying to L.A. thinking I've got a meeting set up at 1 p.m., I've got one at 3:30 p.m. and I've got one at 5:30 p.m. — all with people in mind who I was hoping to secure one-year commitments from," Colangelo said in the episode. "There was one other individual that I'll leave nameless for now that I was hoping to convince on a very large deal that had about the same dollar value as we did with you. So when I got off the plane, I had been texting a little bit with Greg (Redick's agent) on the plane and he said call me when you land.

"I'm in a car and I'm driving to Beverly Hills to stay at the Montage hotel and my meeting's set up for 1 p.m., and it's literally about 12:05 at this time. We're having a general conversation and I'm explaining to him why it's important about the one year and he's pushing back, obviously, per your instructions. We're going back and forth, I'm moving the dialogue and at the end of the day, I said, 'Look, Greg, I know you want as much time as possible here and I know you want to go forward with respect to the deal, but I've got a discussion that's beginning at 1 p.m. today and I'm going to throw that same kind of offer on the table. And I have no idea what the offer's going to be, but if the answer is yes without an answer from you, I may be inclined to move in that direction.' 

"In a span of nine hours, I left my office, I put my head on my pillow for two hours, I fly to Los Angeles, I get in a car and I make a deal with Greg in the car on the way to this meeting. That's how quickly things can turn."

For Redick, after playing 11 seasons for three different NBA teams, he desperately wanted the security of a long-term deal. Now at age 33, it's not a guarantee that the 11th overall pick in 2006 will get another shot at a big-time payday.

But ultimately, it came down to Redick's making a decision that would both give him a chance to earn the money he wanted and potentially play for a title in the near future.

Still, that choice wasn't an easy one.

"There was one moment where I didn't allow the cameras (for UNINTERRUPTED's documentary on his free-agent process) and I wandered out to Brooklyn Bridge Park," Redick said. "It was at the point in time where I was like, 'Man, I'm not gonna get years.'

"And you have to understand something, for basically 14 months since last season ended, I've envisioned this contract, and the contract wasn't about the second number. It wasn't about 50 or 60 or 70 or 80. It wasn't about that. It was about that first number — three or four (years)."

As Redick discussed with CSNPhilly.com's Jessica Camerato following his introductory press conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Colangelo hinted that this season may very well be a jumping-off point in a long-term relationship between the Sixers and the veteran sharpshooter.

"The advent of this process — everyone refers to it as a process — I think life is a process, so it's pretty easy to apply it to every aspect of your life," Colangelo said. "But in this particular case, they did really break things down to a point where there was a lot of pain and suffering and you know, I raced out into free agency and signed a number of long-term commitments to players that were good enough to help us win, but not good enough to help us achieve those longer-term results, which we aspire to win championships. 

"It just was incredibly important to the organization that we were diligent and prudent in our spending. We took steps and this is a measured step. ... This is a one-year contract, but I don't view it as a one-year relationship. This is a situation where if you come in and deliver on what we expect and if we deliver for you what you expect, there's no reason why we can't move forward in some form or fashion."

In the hour-long episode, Redick dropped several interesting insights on the process of going through NBA free agency, and Colangelo — in about a 15-minute segment beginning around the 46-minute mark of the show — talked about why the Sixers were willing to pay a premium for Redick as well as the impact his signing had on the rest of free agency. 

Redick on having no idea where he'd wind up:
"I knew with about 10 days to go until free agency that it was going to be a vastly different market than it was a year ago. ... There were a couple of teams I had sort of hoped and wanted to work something out with, and you know how the NBA works, man. There's all these back-channel communications. It got back to me what the other teams were thinking, and it wasn't really the terms that I necessarily wanted, so I knew basically 10 days out I was like, 'All right, for the third time being a free agent, I'm going to go into July 1 having really no idea what's going to happen.' Maybe that's prevalent across the league — it probably is, I think the majority of players don't know."

Colangelo on the Sixers' goals for this offseason:
"When it comes to putting your team together year after year, there's long-term strategy and there's short-term strategy. This team has obviously been in a long-term rebuilding process, but when I came on about a year ago, it was all about building — forget the word rebuilding, it's now building it up. We really set out to do a few things over the last year that culminated in preparing for the draft and free agency with three primary objectives in mind. 

"I think, first of all, we wanted to enhance and nurture the development of the core players — we've got some young core guys that have gotten an opportunity to play significant minutes and some of whom have played none. ... The second concept was promoting the idea of winning. Bringing in some talent, critical elements like experience, leadership, skill set, things like you represent, and that's why we targeted you and made a point of emphasis of trying to get something with you done. And then third, it's critical for the team in our situation to maintain flexibility for the future." 

If you want to listen to the whole podcast, click here.