The Philadelphia 76ers conceded a blowout loss 123-96 to the San Antonio Spurs.
Jimmy Butler posted just six points on 3-for-13 shooting (0-3 from 3-point), three rebounds and two assists on a night he would love to forget. Butler’s underwhelming performance could be attributed to this being a back-to-back game on the road, playing at Cleveland the day before.
The Spurs, on the other hand, had a better game with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan contributing 20 points a piece and leading the troop was 31-year-old Rudy Gay returning to form with 21 points and six boards.
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“I think we’re starting to figure out each other more than anything,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Who’s got the mismatches out there. Usually your best players look for those mismatches and our guys are starting to figure that out.”
After a horrid second quarter with just 17 points, the Sixers’ desperately sought to salvage their loss in the third quarter by relying on three-pointers to narrow the point gap. With the team struggling from beyond the arc (11-of-37 three pointers made), the Spurs bench did the exact opposite. Davis Bertans, Paddy Mills, and Marco Bellineli combined for 7 out of 14 three pointers, a staggering 50% as opposed to Sixers’ 29.7%.
Other factors include Spurs heading to the line 17 times, making 16 free throws while the Sixers only drew fouls for a total of five free throws out of seven, indicative of their offensive woes.
“Defensively, they put us in tough situations to execute our offense,” Sixers’ Centre Joel Embiid, who posted only 13 points from 6-of-17 shooting, had said after the game. “I had a pretty bad shooting night, Jimmy did (too). They made us uncomfortable.”
Despite a decent offensive output by Ben Simmons and JJ Redick with 16 points each, this was not enough to compensate the disappointing play and match up to the Spurs who were tearing up the net and went 49-87 from the field (56%). The six-time NBA Champions made nine more field goals than the Sixers in 11 fewer attempts.
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