JJ Redick catches fire with 8 3-pointers in Sixers' comeback

JJ Redick catches fire with 8 3-pointers in Sixers' comeback


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. 

It showed.

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.” 

Jrue Holiday explodes in 2nd half of Pelicans' OT win over Bucks

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Jrue Holiday explodes in 2nd half of Pelicans' OT win over Bucks

MILWAUKEE — Jrue Holiday scored 28 of his season-high 36 points after halftime to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-121 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

Holiday added nine rebounds and six assists for New Orleans, which held on for its season-high fifth win in a row when Jason Terry's 3-pointer was ruled after the buzzer.

Anthony Davis, who entered the game as the league's third-leading scorer (27.7 ppg), added 27 points and 13 rebounds.

The Pelicans trailed by 18 early in the second half but outscored Milwaukee 38-19 in the third quarter.

Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the No. 2 scorer in the NBA (27.8) and Eric Bledsoe each added 20, but the Bucks lost for only the fourth time in the last 14 games and fell to 9-26 all-time against New Orleans.

Rajon Rondo came up with the play of the game by draining a 3-pointer from the right wing as the 24-second clock was about to expire to give the Pelicans a 123-119 lead with 1:25 remaining in overtime (see full recap.)

Spurs top Cavs to end losing streak
CLEVELAND — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, Danny Green added 22 and the San Antonio Spurs ended their annual "rodeo" road trip by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-94 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Green, who missed Friday's loss at Denver with food poisoning, came off the bench for the first time in 49 games this season. He made five 3-pointers to provide a perfect outside complement to Aldridge's dynamic inside game. Dejounte Murray added 13 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, a team not accustomed to any turmoil.

But the Spurs have not been themselves lately while playing without star Kawhi Leonard. They had dropped six of seven and four in a row on a trip (their arena hosts a rodeo every year) that coach Gregg Popovich's squad typically uses as a spring board into the playoffs.

LeBron James had 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Cavs, who fell to 3-2 since overhauling their roster with three trades (see full recap.)

Howard leads Hornets over Pistons 
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Something has changed for the Hornets' bench in the last three game. Cody Zeller calls it "rhythm." Frank Kaminsky calls it "flow."

No matter what name this newfound chemistry goes by, it has added up to the best play of the season from Charlotte reserves. And Sunday, it meant the difference as the Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 114-98 for a season-best fourth straight win.

Dwight Howard led the Hornets with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Kemba Walker also recorded 17 points for Charlotte. But it was the Hornets' bench outscoring Detroit's reserves 51-28 that gave Charlotte the biggest edge.

"This is maybe the best 3-4 games we've played all season just because we're starting to put it together, especially on the defensive end," Zeller said. "Everyone is tied together."

The Hornets improved to 27-33 while making a push toward the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. The Pistons have 28 wins, and there are eight teams in the conference with at least 31 victories (see full recap.)

Sixers to add familiar face via buyout market, per report

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Sixers to add familiar face via buyout market, per report

The Sixers may soon poach a second veteran from the Hawks to boost their bench.

After signing Marco Belinelli on Feb. 12, the Sixers are reportedly poised to sign forward Ersan Ilyasova once his buyout with the Hawks is complete, per Yahoo! Sports’ Shams Charania. 

The 30-year-old Turkish forward is averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25.5 minutes per game this season for Atlanta.

Ilyasova has a history in Philadelphia. He was acquired on Nov. 21, 2016 in a trade with the Thunder in exchange for Jerami Grant.

Ilyasova played 53 games for the Sixers and had one of the best individual stretches of his career, posting 14.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on a team where he was one of the primary scoring options. Ilyasova was traded to Atlanta early in 2017 for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick.

This time around, Ilyasova would be part of a very different Sixers team. He’d be a valuable asset for Brett Brown to turn to for scoring off the bench. A career 36.6 percent three-point shooter, the 6-10 Ilyasova is capable of stretching the floor.

With the active roster currently at the 15-player maximum, the Sixers would have to make a corresponding move to free up a spot for Ilyasova.