Not even 40 factors from Joel Embiid have been sufficient on Sunday as Philadelphia’s winless begin to the NBA season continued, struggling a shock 114-105 loss to San Antonio.
The loss noticed the Sixers drop to 0-3, however on condition that the primary two losses got here in opposition to championship contenders in Boston and Milwaukee, there was a delay in urgent the panic button.
The Spurs, however, are anticipated to hitch the tank practice for prime NBA draft decide Victor Wembanyama and have given up 266 factors of their first two video games this season.
It was, nevertheless, an all-around crew effort for San Antonio, with six gamers reaching double digits in factors, led by Keldon Johnson (21 factors) and Devin Vassell (22).
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Philadelphia obtained loads of manufacturing from its key starters as Embiid put collectively a robust stat line of 40 factors, 13 rebounds, three assists, two blocks.
James Harden (12 factors, 12 assists, 9 rebounds) and Tyrese Maxey (24 factors, 5 assists, three rebounds) have been additionally robust whereas Tobias Harris added 15 factors.
However there have been simply 13 factors from Philadelphia’s different six gamers, with three members of the bench failing to attain a single level. San Antonio’s second unit, in the meantime, scored 40.
Philadelphia now dangers slipping to final place within the Jap Convention if the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
The Sixers took a 25-19 lead after the primary quarter, with Harris (seven factors, three rebounds), Embiid (six factors, three rebounds) and Harden (4 factors, three rebounds, six assists) all contributing to the beginning of the sport.
Maxey (5 factors), in the meantime, had a pair of buckets in transition to start out the offense whereas Tre Jones (4 factors) led the way in which for Spurs.
Vassell entered the second quarter with three factors however shortly exploded to place Spurs again within the sport with 17 factors, taking his tally to twenty at halftime after taking pictures 8 for 10 from the sphere.
The Sixers, however, struggled to search out their taking pictures rhythm after dropping to 37.2 % from the ground within the first half, with Harden simply 2-for-10 from the sphere.
Harden was making an influence in different methods, although, already with six of Philadelphia’s 10 assists by then.
However after dropping their first two video games of the season, Philadelphia followers’ persistence was sporting skinny, with boos ringing out after Josh Primo drained a 3-pointer to provide Spurs a 49-41 lead.
These boos changed into cheers when Maxey hit one from deep to take the lead, Harris additionally draining a 3-pointer because the Sixers rallied late to path 54-51 at halftime.
As soon as once more although, Spurs took the lead within the third quarter, taking an 85-77 lead within the remaining 12 minutes of the sport.
Johnson made his influence felt within the third quarter for San Antonio, scoring 9 factors whereas bolstering the protection with two rebounds and a steal.
“While you’re taking part in in opposition to groups like this, identical to when the Sixers have been on the opposite aspect of the coin they usually have been rebuilding, you possibly can’t take nights,” 76ers commentator Alaa Abdelnaby stated.
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The problem for San Antonio, nevertheless, can be to maintain the stress on, with Philadelphia assured to push again.
Sadly for the Spurs, they missed their first 4 pictures of the fourth quarter because the Sixers rode 9-0 to take an 86-85 lead.
Harden and Embiid began to stand up when the 76ers wanted them most, with the duo concerned in these 9 factors.
However Philadelphia could not preserve that early dominance, with San Antonio then main a 15-5 run to take a 101-90 lead within the remaining 5 minutes of the sport and finally clinched the win.
The Philadelphia Investigator Keith Pompey tweeted that it “may turn into one of many Sixers’ worst losses” he is seen since he began overlaying for the crew.
Sixers commentator Abdelnaby, in the meantime, stated it is regarding Philadelphia will not even win video games in opposition to a “struggling, rebuilding crew” like San Antonio.
“While you come throughout video games like this, these are the sorts of video games which are already inescapable since you are clearly the higher crew,” Abdelnaby stated.
“Popping out after struggling for 2 video games in opposition to elite competitors and performing the way in which you probably did in the present day is disheartening for the 76ers teaching workers.
“It is clearly a struggling and rebuilding crew, it ought to have been a W.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers revealed after the sport that new addition PK Tucker was shouting within the locker room that no crew would give Philadelphia a win they usually needed to win it.
“It is nearly like we performed onerous these first two video games, competed, and felt like, ‘OK, now we will win video games.’ You at all times must exit and win the sport,” Rivers stated.
“Tuck was screaming after the sport and he was proper. Nobody is simply going to provide you a win.