76ers

London can't save Sixers from another huge blown lead

London can't save Sixers from another huge blown lead

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The Sixers' showcase in London was spoiled by a massive Celtics comeback Thursday at the 02 Arena, resulting in a 114-103 loss.

Playing on the international stage, the Sixers jumped out to a 22-point lead in the first half against the top team in the Eastern Conference. 

That lopsided differential wouldn’t last long. The Celtics began to claw their way back into it in the second quarter and trailed by only nine at halftime.

The Sixers fell behind in the third and were outscored by 15 points in the quarter. The Celtics built upon that lead in the fourth to erase any signs of the Sixers' once-dominating advantage (see story)

The Sixers' four-game winning streak came to an end. They fell back below .500 at 19-20. The Celtics improved to 34-10.

• A 15-point game turned chippy with just under five minutes to play. Ben Simmons committed a hard foul on Marcus Morris, who got knocked to the ground. Morris bounced up and shoved Simmons. The players were separated and the situation didn’t escalate beyond the push. Morris was issued a technical without any ejections. 

• JJ Redick was nearly unstoppable to start the game. He scored 13 quick points in the first (in less than eight minutes, at that). His efficient shooting accounted for nearly half of the Sixers’ total scoring in the quarter. Redick finished with a game-high 22 points.

• Joel Embiid had a quiet 15-point, 10-rebound double-double (along with five assists). Embiid shot 6 for 17 from the field and struggled from three, going 1 for 5. (Both Robert Covington and Dario Saric also went 1 for 5 from long range.)

• Simmons posted 16 points but was well under his season averages with three assists and only two rebounds. 

• Jaylen Brown (21 points, four rebounds, three steals) edged out Kyrie Irving (20 points, seven assists) as the Celtics’ leading scorer. Boston got a boost off the bench with 19 points from Morris. 

• The Sixers committed only two turnovers in a disciplined first quarter. But as the game went on, they ended up with 19 overall.

• Injury updates: Markelle Fultz was with the Sixers in London but has not been cleared to play (right shoulder). Amir Johnson was sidelined by gastroenteritis. 

• The Sixers dropped to 0-3 against the Celtics this season. They will get another chance to pick up a regular-season win when they face off again next Thursday in Boston.

Sixers Talk podcast: New-look starting 5; What food would you break quarantine for?

Sixers Talk podcast: New-look starting 5; What food would you break quarantine for?

On this edition of Sixers Talk, we discuss which food we'd break quarantine for, the Sixers' new-look starting five and much more.

(2:16) — Richaun Holmes forced to quarantine after leaving the bubble for food.
(10:28) — Two players test positive for COVID-19 while inside the bubble.
(15:54) — With Shake Milton at point guard, it sounds like Sixers are leaning toward a new starting five.

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube



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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Why Shake Milton could thrive in strange NBA playoffs this year

Why Shake Milton could thrive in strange NBA playoffs this year

On March 1, Shake Milton introduced himself to the NBA world by dropping 39 points on the Clippers in L.A on national TV.

Not bad for a guy that was told he was out of the rotation before an injury to Ben Simmons thrust him into the starting lineup.

But that seems to be the story of Milton. He’s unflappable. Whatever his life or career presents him, he keeps moving forward.

As the Sixers continue their training camp at Disney World to prepare for the resumed NBA season, Brett Brown has been using Milton as his starting point guard, moving Simmons to the four. That means the 23-year-old that’s played 52 career NBA games appears to have the inside track on a starting job for a team looking to go on a deep playoff run.

No pressure or anything there.

There are people that just thrive in these circumstances. You can throw them in intense situations, and they act so calm you have to wonder if they even have a pulse. Milton’s imperturbable demeanor has likely helped him get to where he is. 

He was a freshman in high school when he lost his father. Myron Milton was just 43 when he passed away suddenly. The two were close and basketball was a big part of their bond. His dad told him to “just go out there and play like you’re the best player on the floor,” Shake said to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters.

The Oklahoma native was recruited to play at SMU by former Sixers coach and Hall of Famer Larry Brown, who said he “got lucky” in landing Milton over the likes of the University of Oklahoma and Indiana. Milton had a strong college career but that’s also where injuries became an unfortunate part of his story.

Milton suffered a hand injury that limited him to 22 games his junior year and final season for the Mustangs. A back injury presumably caused him to slip to the back end of the draft. After making strides at the NBA level his rookie season, he suffered another hand injury. Just three games into the 2019-20 season — and when it appeared he had a legitimate chance at a spot in the rotation — a knee injury sidelined him.

Ironically, injuries are what led to his next prolonged NBA opportunity. When Simmons went down, Milton stepped in and produced in a big way, averaging 17.8 points and shooting 60.4 percent from three over his last nine games before play was suspended.

All the injuries and time spent with the Delaware Blue Coats has led to this moment, where he could potentially be the team's starting point guard in the postseason.

“You won’t find a better kid than him, and somebody that really trusts the process,” Larry Brown said as a guest on the Sixers Talk podcast in May. “And Philly did a remarkable job with him. Playing in the G League in Delaware, Shake told me was huge. …

“The greatest thing is they had patience with him. They had some injuries and you never know when the opportunity is going to be there for you to show you can play.”

Milton has rewarded that patience already. Now, he’ll have to try to carry the momentum he built before the season was suspended onto one of the biggest NBA stages.

But it’s all part of Milton’s story and why if anyone can do this at a young age and with so little NBA experience, it could be him.

“There’s a poise that he has as a person that I’m assuming everybody on this call that has interviewed him feels,” Brett Brown said in a video conference call with reporters Tuesday. “And I think that can help him navigate through a pressure situation of the NBA playoffs. I do believe how he’s wired from a human perspective can help him deal with that environment I think in a more calm way.”

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube



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.

More on the Sixers