76ers

Sixers falter late in 4th quarter as win streak snapped by Kings

Sixers falter late in 4th quarter as win streak snapped by Kings

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Brett Brown felt there were more than enough breaks in the action late to get his desired instructions to his team in case things went down to the wire.

What he didn’t expect was for the young Sixers to disregard those plans and do their own thing.

The Sixers allowed rookie De’Aaron Fox to drain a pull-up jumper with 13.4 seconds remaining and then failed to execute the called offensive set on the other end in a 109-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on Thursday (see observations).

“That particular play is most disappointing because we had all the stoppages,” Brown said of the last play. “We had talked. I didn’t need to take a timeout. The game was stopped for a minute. We didn’t need to waste a timeout. 

“We had a play designed. We’ve been doing well closing out games and we went rogue. We didn’t show the discipline. That thing you’re talking about is the end result of chaos.”

On that final possession, Ben Simmons dribbled up the court and passed to JJ Redick on the right wing. Redick hesitated before he fed Joel Embiid at the foul line. Embiid pivoted on Willie Cauley-Stein and then put up a jump shot that rolled off the rim to officially snap the Sixers’ five-game win streak.

Not exactly the execution you want to see from an upstart team looking to make a name for itself around the league.

“It’s a tough one for sure, but it’s a lesson,” said Robert Covington, who had a team-high 24 points. “We’re going to go back and watch the small things, what caused the outcome of this game. What we’re going to do is learn from the mistakes, fix them and move on to the next one.”

This version of the Sixers was supposed to be over those type of crucial mistakes, although you couldn’t tell on Thursday night. They had 17 turnovers, which led to 19 points. The Sixers also committed 28 personal fouls compared to 19 for the Kings.

Still, the Sixers were in the hunt for yet another road win because their dynamic duo of Embiid and Simmons overcame some early adversity.

Embiid, who was back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Utah for “load management,” looked like the time off didn’t serve him well early on. The center (22 points on 7 for 20 shooting, 15 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, five turnovers) appeared lethargic throughout much of the game before coming on strong in the clutch (see highlights).

Embiid had nine points, six rebounds and two blocks in the fourth quarter as the Sixers went up by as many as six with 1:38 left on the clock.

Simmons was held in check for a good portion of the matchup, mainly by his own doing. The rookie point guard committed his fourth personal foul just 1:17 into the second half and was forced to the bench.

When Simmons returned in the fourth, he made up for lost time. He scored seven of his 18 points in the final frame (see highlights).

But the play by the Sixers’ starters proved to be too little, too late as Fox and the Kings’ reserves (56-17 scoring advantage over the Sixers’ bench) closed the show.

“We tried really hard. We had a couple of mistakes at the end of the game,” Dario Saric said. “This is the NBA. Like JJ said in the locker room, sometimes it’s hard to get a win, especially on the road in this game, in this league. It’s the best league in the world.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Sixers as they now travel to face the best team in the best league in the world: the champion Golden State Warriors.

Sixers trade Richaun Holmes to Suns; Jonah Bolden inks 4-year contract, source confirms

Sixers trade Richaun Holmes to Suns; Jonah Bolden inks 4-year contract, source confirms

The Sixers are not quite done making moves this offseason.

The team on Friday sent big man Richaun Holmes to the Suns for cash considerations. The Sixers also signed 2017 second-round pick Jonah Bolden to a four-year deal, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.

Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania first reported the trade and Bolden's signing.

With these moves, the Sixers’ roster remains at 15 players, but that could change if the team finds a way to rid themselves of Jerryd Bayless’ contract — say, in a trade with Cleveland (see story).

The writing has been on the wall for Holmes. Now entering his fourth year, the 2015 second-round pick struggled to find a role in Brett Brown’s rotation last season with a healthy Joel Embiid and veteran Amir Johnson in the fold. While he offered energy, athleticism and weakside rim protection off the bench, Holmes lacked discipline defensively, something Brown hasn’t tolerated during his tenure.

Bolden will essentially take Holmes’ spot on the roster as a developmental big. With quicker feet defensively, Bolden has more versatility to guard fours. While his summer league performance was underwhelming offensively, Bolden did impress defensively, especially against No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton. It’s important to note that the third and fourth years of Bolden’s deal are not guaranteed, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

Drafted by the Sixers out of Bowling Green State, Holmes flashed at times but was only able to get into 48 games this season, averaging 15.5 minutes a contest. He averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 156 career games with the Sixers.

A native Australian, Bolden attended UCLA for one year before heading overseas to play for FMP Beograd of the Adriatic League. As a draft and stash this past season, Bolden played for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and tested his skills in the EuroLeague. He averaged 7.2 points and six rebounds in 20.8 minutes a game. He’s shown flashes of a jump shot but shot just 31 percent from three this season abroad and 24 percent in summer league action.

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Sixers' reported interest in Kyle Korver trade may be way out of Jerryd Bayless' contract

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Sixers' reported interest in Kyle Korver trade may be way out of Jerryd Bayless' contract

The Sixers have been searching for a way to end their partnership with Jerryd Bayless for some time now. And while a resolution may finally be coming into shape, it’s far from a sure thing.

The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey first reported Thursday that the Sixers have had discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers about a trade involving Bayless and Kyle Korver.

However, The New York Times’ Marc Stein added Friday that while a potential deal involving the two sides is “possible” it’s also “far from certain.” 

Bayless has one year remaining on his contract at $8.57 million. 

Korver has two years left on his deal for $7.56 million in 2018-19 and $7.5 million the following season. Of that 2019-20 salary, only $3.44 million is guaranteed if Korver remains on the team after July 7, 2019. The money becomes fully guaranteed after that point. 

Any deal for the Cavaliers to take on Bayless would likely also involve a draft pick going back to Cleveland. The Sixers currently have control of most of their own assets, including six total second-round selections in the next two drafts.

Korver, who spent the first four-plus years of his career with the Sixers, is still getting it done in the NBA at 37 years old. The veteran sharpshooter played in 73 games regular-season games last season for the Cavs and averaged 9.2 points a night on 43.6 percent three-point shooting (sixth-best in the NBA).

Meanwhile, Bayless fell out of the rotation in Year 2 of his three-year, $27 million contract with the Sixers. The 29-year-old guard was a DNP-CD for 39 of the Sixers’ final 40 games, including playoffs, with the lone appearance being a showing for 1:44 in the team’s Game 1 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In all, Bayless played in just 39 contests and averaged 7.9 points (41.6 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent shooting from three-point range).

“It wasn’t easy,” Bayless said during exit interviews of his diminished role as the season went on. “This whole year from an individual standpoint wasn’t the easiest. But, at the same time, when you’re around a group of guys that we had and the success that we had, it made it easier. 

“I’m really grateful that I was able to be a part of this organization this year. We’ll see what happens moving forward.”

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