Clowntime is Over: Sixers Face First Winning Team Since Break

Clowntime is Over: Sixers Face First Winning Team Since Break

As fun as it's been getting to rack up W's against the league's lesser lights--four straight against teams with losing records, though the most recent one about the Cavs was way too close for comfort--it couldn't last forever. The Sixers were bound to face another legitimate test sooner or later, and indeed, tonight they face the Dallas Mavericks in a meeting of the two teams with the longest active winning streaks in their respective conferences. The Mavs are 43-16 for the season, and a jaw-dropping 16-1 in their last 17 games. Something tells me they're not going to be too impressed with the Sixers' recent hot stretch.

Still, the Sixers' four-game winning streak, and their resultant plus-.500 record at 30-29, is something worth celebrating. Not since the team was 2-1 under Eddie Jordan have they been able to refer to themselves as a "winning team," and even if the margin is still fairly slim, that has to count as some sort of progress. And as always, they've been doing so as a team, with 'Dre, Elton, Thad and Jrue all taking their turns as players of the game, and Jodie, Lou, Evan and even Spencer and Marreese all playing key roles in securing victories as well. This is our team, and they're pretty good.

Do they have the potential to be great? Well, games like tonight's are the only way to really find out for sure, but at the very least, the Liberty Ballers aren't contenting themselves with having broken even. "It's time to go on with the rest of the games and try to stay above (.500)," said Thaddeus Young recently. "We're all here to get to the playoffs. We all want to be part of something great." Elton Brand, a locker-room leader all year, concurred. "A .500 record is OK, but we aspire to be better," quoth Elton. "We aspire to catch teams in front of us and keep teams behind us at bay." Well, the Mavs ain't either of those, but guarnateed that a win tonight against 'em will catch the attention of all who are.

7:00 tip from the WFC, where the Sixers are now a sparkling 19-9 on the season. Speaking of Elton, there was a scary moment in the game against the Cavs where it looked like we might lose our leading scorer and rebounder to a dislocated pinky finger, but Brand played out the game and looks to be OK for the immediate future. It's a valuable reminder though of how lucky the Sixers have been most of the season in terms of health, and of how important the veteran forward has been to the team's success this year.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.