Thad Young finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers took care of the Sacramento Kings at the Wells Fargo Center, 89-80, to win their second game in a row for the first time since early November.
Young had his way with Jason Thompson and the Kings’ forwards all night, getting it done on 11-17 shooting. Nick Young added 20 points, giving him double digits in six of his last seven games. Jrue Holiday scored 21 points and dished out 7 assists but coughed the ball up 8 times, reverting back to the poor decision making that plagued him earlier this season. Evan Turner’s struggles continued as he ended up with just 8 points and 4 turnovers in 33 minutes.
Tyreke Evans was unstoppable for the Kings, pouring in a game-high 29 points while Isaiah Thomas chipped in 24 points and DeMarcus Cousins double-doubled with 12 points and 12 boards.
Philly came out scorching hot from the field thanks to better-than-usual ball movement and shotty Sacramento defense in the first half. Holiday and Young each had 13 points at the break on a combined 12-16 shooting. The Sixers led by as many as 19 points and went into the locker rooms ahead 54-39 after shooting 57.5% as a team.
As strong as the Sixers looked in the first half they looked equally disappointing in the third quarter. The massive lead quickly disappeared thanks to sloppy play from Holiday and pathetic transition defense. The Kings won the third quarter by 11 points and sucked the life out of the Wells Fargo Center. The quarter can be summed up by one play that occurred with just seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter. Thomas was dribbling out the clock near midcourt when Holiday approached him, ready to use the Sixers’ foul that they had to give. Thomas instinctively went into his shooting motion before Holiday made contact. Jrue didn’t realize and fouled Thomas, giving the 5’9 point guard three shots and the Kings even more momentum heading into the 4th.
Thankfully, they’re the Kings, and no matter how hard Philly tried to give them the game, they just wouldn’t take it. Sacramento took its first lead of the game at 73-72 with 10:35 left in the 4th but went cold after that and allowed the Sixers to go on a 17-2 run midway through the quarter, ending any chance of the comeback. Young, Lavoy Allen and Holiday combined for all 17 points on the run.
I guess a win is a win, but I can’t help but remain frustrated with this team. Holiday played terrible (for him*, the standards were raised when he was selected as an all-star), Turner looks like hes a rookie again and I’m sorry but if you have to rely on 20 points a night from Swaggy P, you aren’t winning all that much.
On the bright side, the Sixers outrebounded Sacramento 47-35 and looked really good defensively when they needed to. The Orlando Magic come to town next Monday as the Sixers look to win their third straight game, a feat they’ve accomplished just twice this season.