JJ Redick has taken thousands of three-point shots over his 12-year NBA career. So when it came time to pull off an acrobatic shot to ice a win, he was ready.
“Believe it or not, it is something I occasionally practice,” Redick said.
Redick nailed an off-balance trey nearly leaping out of bounds as the shot clock expired. The shot came at a critical time and gave the Sixers a six-point lead over the pesky Pacers with a minute to go. The Sixers (5-4) won their fourth straight and went above .500 for the first time since November 2013 with a 121-110 victory on Friday night (see observations).
“It’s the shot I’ve taken before,” Redick said. “It’s all end of game and it’s a shot that I feel like I can get off.”
Redick scored a season-high 31 points off 8 for 12 three-point shooting (see highlights). He scored nine straight points for the Sixers over a span of 1:19 in the fourth.
After Robert Covington knotted the game up at 110 apiece, Redick broke the tie with 2:06 to play. The Sixers got the ball back after Darren Collison missed a layup and Redick made the jaw-dropping shot on the next possession. He put the game out of reach, 119-110, with 46.7 seconds remaining.
“Tonight, we all saw JJ at his best and it mattered the most,” Brett Brown said.
Redick made shots so difficult that he even took his teammates by surprise. Joel Embiid wasn’t expecting him to knock down the circus shot. It's far from a high-percentage look ... to most players.
“I was like, ‘I’m wide open,’” Embiid recounted. “But then he shot it and then I went for the rebound and then I was like, ‘Oh dang, that went in.’ I was happy. That was a big shot for us. From there, the game was over.”
The Sixers know to get Redick the ball, especially when he has the hot hand. Both Embiid and Ben Simmons called his performance "amazing." Redick's lights-out shooting ability is his biggest asset and a huge reason why he was so coveted in free agency. He said the Sixers’ ball movement was a key to his success and a main factor in choosing to sign a one-year, $23 million deal with the team this past summer.
“Brett’s system has been really good for me,” Redick said.
Sixers fans have been good for him, too. Redick fed off the energy of the sold-out crowd. The roar of 20,668 fans fueled him down the stretch.
“I had goosebumps tonight. I really did,” Redick said. “There were a few moments where it was as loud as you’d ever seen in an NBA arena, for regular season for sure. … To me, the most beautiful basketball you can play is when you're having a symbiotic relationship with the fans. It becomes beautiful. To get that win tonight in front of them was huge.”