Sixers vs. Thunder: 3 takeaways from impressive scrimmage loss

Ben Simmons | Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons | Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Sixers lost Sunday afternoon’s scrimmage to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but there reactions from this game are mostly positive.

This is the rare instance where you can react positively to a loss. This was an overwhelmingly encouraging performance from the Sixers, who dominated the opposing starters for the second scrimmage in a row. OKC won 102-97, but only after a garbage time run led by Mike Muscala and Andre Roberson. The starters were long gone by then.

In the absence of Joel Embiid, the Sixers got strong performances across the board. Ben Simmons was on the verge of a triple-double, Josh Richardson turned in an elite defensive performance, and Shake Milton asserted his worth at the point guard spot.

The Sixers led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, and at no point did OKC’s starters pose a serious challenge to Philadelphia’s — especially once Simmons was locked in. The Sixers should go back to their hotel rooms draped in smiles. This was a performance worthy of optimism.

It’s still too early to definitive declarations, but this two scrimmages and two blowouts for Philadelphia when you look at the minutes that truly matter. The Sixers have controlled both ends of the floor so far in Orlando, overpowering two playoff teams from the West.

Here’s what we learned from today’s (pretty much a victory) loss.