Mike Scott’s foul on Kevin Durant with 35 seconds left was inexplicable.
Scott knows it. The Sixers had time to play defense while down just three, but instead, the Sixers had a couple late-game issues and lost to the Warriors, 120-117, on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations).
“Shouldn’t have happened,” Brett Brown said postgame on Scott’s foul. “Whether you need a three on a sideline, whether you’re trying to miss a free throw and position people around, whether you want a foul or don’t-you-foul type stuff, even though these guys are great players, have been around the league a long time, every coaching staff is sort of different.
“Some of it isn’t their fault and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the fact that we’ve been with each other for a minute and at times like that it rears its head and you feel that pain.”
Scott, not one to mince words, had no explanation and put the blame on himself.
"I'm going to get mad all over again. It's just bad,” Scott said. “I have no excuse. I'm not one for excuses. I don't know, just gotta be better. Easier said than done. We lost — doesn't mean s---. But yeah, not good."
The shame of it is, the Sixers aren’t in the game without Scott. The seven-year veteran, acquired from the Clippers along with Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic, showed on Saturday exactly why he was included in the deal.
On a night where Harris, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick all struggled from the floor, Scott was scorching hot — especially in the second half. He hit all six of his threes — three in the third, three in the fourth — after halftime and went 6 of 9 behind the arc overall. He posted a season-high 22 points.
But that wasn’t all. You can tell Scott is starting to get more comfortable with his new team. Against the Warriors and the Thunder, Scott was improved defensively. It looks like he’s starting to understand the team’s defensive concepts better and meshing better with his new teammates.
He’s also shown his versatility, playing small-ball five off the bench with Joel Embiid out. It was a complete mismatch when he was asked to defend DeMarcus Cousins on the low block, but he did make Cousins pay on the other end for not coming to contest his shot quickly enough.
"I feel like my role doesn't change,” Scott said when asked of his adjustment with the Sixers. “More minutes, of course. Spacing the floor, just trying to be active on the other end. Not really much of a change, just more minutes. I like that."
There was also a moment late in the second quarter that was a prime example of the type of player Scott is. As Jordan Bell was driving to the lane for an uncontested shot, Scott committed a good, hard foul — it didn’t look dirty and it wasn’t called a flagrant.
Bell took exception to it anyway. Scott is not the type to back down and went forehead to forehead with Bell as the two players jawed and received double technicals. A similar thing happened against Portland where Enes Kanter went after Ben Simmons. Instead, he caught the wrath of Scott.
As it gets later in the season and there’s more at stake, Scott is the kind of player you want on your team. Experienced, versatile, can make a three and tough. That’s basically how Brown describes his perfect player.
While Brown and Simmons focused on a lot of the positives postgame, Scott wasn’t having it.
"We fought back … Nah, I can't lie,” Scott said. “We just gotta be better with execution. It comes down to the end of the game on both ends. I feel s----y. It's good for coach to say that, but I don't feel like that. I can't lie."
Hating to lose is just another quality Scott brings to the table.
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