76ers

Bad third quarter hurt Sixers more than late-game situations in loss to Warriors

Bad third quarter hurt Sixers more than late-game situations in loss to Warriors

Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler shot a combined 12 of 36. 

Ben Simmons turned the ball over nine times.

And, oh yeah, the Sixers were playing their fifth straight game without All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Still, they managed to give the defending champion Warriors all they could handle in a 120-117 loss at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday night (see observations).

A lot of the focus postgame was with how the game ended. Mike Scott, who was very good Saturday overall, inexplicably committed a foul on Kevin Durant with 35 seconds left and the Sixers trailing by three.

After a Simmons basket and defensive stop, the Sixers still found themselves down three with 10.3 seconds left when Draymond Green fouled Simmons. Simmons made the first free throw but then missed the second free throw on purpose. Unfortunately, Simmons didn’t hit the rim and it was a violation.

Wasn’t it a little early for an intentional miss?

“When we don’t have timeouts and I’ve got to do something coming out, I’ll do it all day, every day,” Brett Brown said. “I don’t feel comfortable with Golden State and especially the fact that I don’t have any timeouts. I think it’s questionable for me if you do have timeouts. When you don’t, that’s what we’re doing.”

The Sixers had yet another chance to tie the game with 2.4 second left, trailing, 120-117. With no timeouts and inbounding from three-quarters court, it was going to be difficult for the Sixers to get a get a good look. Simmons inbounded the ball to Harris along the sideline. Harris was immediately mobbed by two Warriors and stepped out of bounds before getting a shot off.

While they had opportunities late to tie the game, that’s not where the game was lost.

The Sixers got off to a blazing start and built a 67-55 lead heading into halftime. At that point, Harris was 6 of 12 for 16 points and Simmons was 7 of 8 for 18 with four turnovers.

Then Golden State stormed back. The Warriors went on a 16-0 run that the Sixers just couldn’t stem. A 12-point halftime lead became a three-point deficit after three.

"That span right there was the change of the game, for the momentum shift,” Harris said. “They're one of the best teams in the league coming out after halftime. We were a little over-passive in the beginning of the third quarter, had a few turnovers. They're one of the best teams scoring off turnovers, and they scored 38 points in the third quarter alone. That run was big for them. 

“When we look back on this game, that third quarter really hurt us."

Harris went ice cold in the second half, going just 1 for 8 — the one was a three with 37.1 seconds left. Simmons’ turnover issues increased as he committed five more while he went just 3 of 7 after halftime.

You can break down all the late-game situations you want, but the Sixers were badly outplayed in a 38-point third quarter for the Warriors. Given the context of the situation — playing without your best player against the world champs — it’s far from the worst loss of the season for the Sixers.

“Everybody like lives and dies on every single play. It’s dramatic. And it can’t be for me,” Brown said. “There’s so much good that came out of this game and we've got Joel Embiid coming back … 

“So the mission is still the mission. We've got 19 games left and however many days. We take these situational type things and we get better at that. That’s where my head is at more than doing some other things. There’s many, many positives that can come out of tonight.”

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Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

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NBC Sports Philadelphia/YouTube

Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick go back and forth about JJ Redick's comments about the importance of team dinners, five Sixers landing on SI's top 100, and Joel Embiid saying he has lost 25 pounds.

• Discussing nuggets about Jimmy Butler and the quadruple doink from JJ Redick's appearance on the Lowe Post.

• Sports Illustrated's Top 100 for 2020 came out. The rankings are mostly fair but the guys have one gripe.

• Joel Embiid said he lost 25 pounds ... but he clearly didn't lose his sense of humor.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

Sixers fans are generally excited about the team's new roster construction heading into the 2019-2020 season, but there's no doubt the sharp shooting of JJ Redick will be missed.

Redick took his talents down to the bayou and will suit up for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. Redick joined ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe on Lowe's podcast this week to talk about his new opportunity. They also reflected a bit on his time with the Sixers and the tough loss to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the playoffs after four bounces of a Kawhi Leonard desperation shot.

Redick is open about the fact that the decision to move on to New Orleans was partly financial.

"I never got the sense that [the Sixers] didn't want to bring me back. Unfortunately, it came down to a little bit of economics," Redick said.

Jimmy Butler's decision to move on to the Miami Heat obviously precipitated that move. Redick speaks highly of Butler regardless of his decision.

"I love Jimmy. I would play with Jimmy again," Redick said. "He is in the upper tier of two-way players and in the upper tier of offensive players in the NBA, period."

So Redick has moved on to New Orleans, but it's tough not to think back to what could have been. There was a point in the Toronto series where Redick believed the Sixers were capable of winning the NBA championship last season.

"Joel [Embiid] and I spent some time together after the season and we talked about it. It was Game 4 [against Toronto] for us. We lost that game and I felt like, for most of that game, we had control, not just that game but that series. We had a chance to go up 3-1. That was the opportunity that we missed. You lose that game and it's 2-2 and you've got to win 2 out of 3 against Toronto, and that's a tough task."

One other interesting nugget from Redick's time in Philly was his sharing that he believed they didn't do enough team dinners on the road.

"I wish, I've tried, I wish, the team meal on the road is huge. I think it's huge. We didn't do it enough last year in Philly. We tried. It wasn't enough. Some of that, look, nobody wants to be forced to go to dinner. It's got to be real and authentic."

Some other choice quotes from the pod below.

On Ben Simmons getting a jumper.

"Ben works. He worked all of last offseason. I witnessed him during the season get his shots up after practice every day. I think he'll be able to shoot at some point. A lot of it is confidence. He can shoot a high enough clip when he's shooting spot shots that it should translate to shooting threes in a game. The video that went viral, looks to me like he's shooting with some confidence there."

Lowe also asked Redick about the dagger shot in Toronto.

"I was on the bench," Redick said. "I sort of had that perfect angle 'cause as soon as the ball had come inbounds, I sort of walked onto the baseline. Not on the court, but onto the baseline so I could get a straight-on view of the action. My memory may be a little jogged but my arms were crossed, I was watching the ball bounce around the rim, and it went in. I'm not sure I had any initial reaction, I think it was just shock. Part of you wants to walk off the floor and punch a wall and the other part of you, if I'm the Raptors, I'd want to dap up the people that I had just played a seven-game series against. I stayed on the court and talked to Kyle, Marc, Kawhi, Danny and those guys. Told them I hope they win a championship and walked off. Then you get back to the locker room and you see the emotion, I was obviously feeling emotional, then Joel started crying. Those are the sorts of moments that you don't forget. As much as you don't forget the shot, the aftermath of moments like that, you just don't forget. There's just a lot of raw emotion."

You can listen to Redick's entire conversation with Zach Lowe right here.

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