There's nothing quite like watching your team
come back from a 19-point defecit to take the lead. Except maybe
watching your team come back from a 19-point defect to take the lead and
keep it. The Sixers put together a remarkable fourth quarter on
Wednesday night had the Knicks on their heels late. The mixed crowd of
18,000+ at the Wells Fargo Center was literally on its feet with every
possession down the stretch. Then Carmelo Anthony hit a dagger three
ball with under a minute to play, and the wretched showing of the first
three quarters came rushing back to the front of your memory.
"The fourth quarter, that's the way we play 'D,'" Elton Brand said of
the final frame. "That's our team right there. We had two or three
24-second violations by them. We got after it, we got stops, and we got
on the break. That's our team."
That's the Sixers team when they're clicking. Unfortunately, it took 36 minutes before the Sixers found their juice.
Thad Young was a huge part of the turnaround, doing it on both ends, bringing some much needed energy.
"Coach looked to me and said that he needed some energy out of me,"
Thad said after the game. "I said 'Okay, I got you.' That's pretty much
what I did. I tried to be active, try to be all over the place, try to
force turnovers, and try to be out on the break."
Young finished with a team high 25 points off the bench, but also did
an impressive job defending Amar'e Stoudemire, keeping him out of the
paint and forcing him to beat the Sixers with his jumper.
"Thad is a wonder to play with," Elton Brand said of Thad's
remarkable evolution. "He scores. He played defense great on A'mare and
took that challenge straight up. When he plays like that, we're gonna be
hard to beat."
Thad and Elton certainly carried them tonight. Brand's big 11 for 16
shooting was good for 24 points, but aside from him and Thad, the rest
of the team couldn't get the ball to go down.
They shot an ugly 2-18 from three point range, and as Coach Collins
said after the game, you hit a couple more of those and you win.
"You're up one and toilet bowl a three to put you up four late in the
game," Coach Collins said of a huge would-be three by Jodie Meeks that
could have had the Knicks packing it in and hopping on the bus back to
It didn't drop, and Carmelo hit a well-defended three ball at the
other end that you simply can't help but shake your head at. New York
hit tough threes while the Sixers missed some open looks from behind the
The Knicks took this battle, and their throngs of spray-tanned,
spikey-haired fans that showed up enjoyed every minute of it. The Sixers
learned they can't simply play one quarter of balls-to-the-wall
basketball to win against good teams. Especially in games with