Sixers fans deserved a blowout win

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Sixers fans deserved a blowout win

Nearly halfway through the NBA season, we finally got it: the win easy enough to (almost) make up for all the hard ones. The Philadelphia 76ers got out to an early lead against the Detroit Pistons in the first quarter, which grew to a sizable lead in the second, which ballooned to blowout proportions in the third, which stayed as such during a fourth quarter in which the Sixers' stars didn't play a second.

Final score: Sixers 114, Pistons 78. How sweet it is. 

And the best part? Well, the best part of owning the Pistons by 36 is always just owning the Pistons by 36 — any more of a beating and we'd require a guest solo from Eddie Van Halen at halftime — but the second-best part was that all of the starters played well. 

J.J. Redick continued his hot streak, scoring 21 on just 11 shots, with a team-high +34 for the night. Robert Covington shook off a shaky start to hit three big second-half threes to ensure that this one would be a laugher in the fourth. Dario Saric had a casually effective 11-6-3, with another solid night from deep (2 of 4). And Joel Embiid, playing against old foe Andre Drummond, anchored an ironclad Sixers D in the first half, and put up 23 and nine in just 25 minutes — seemingly scoring at will at the end of the third, just so he could be sure to get his numbers before an inevitably inactive fourth. 

But the story from this one was, of course, Ben Simmons. The Fresh Prince was dominant early in this one, hitting his first five shots on a variety of creative and aggressive moves, not exactly hitting or even testing jumpers, but expanding his repertoire to include the little push shots, floaters and bankers that Simmons needs in his arsenal to be an effective scorer without a proper working jump shot. His offensive forcefulness also opened passing opportunities that had been largely closed to him in recent games, ending with 19 and nine on 9 of 13 shooting, with a pair of blocks and steals each. It's been a while since we'd seen Ben look as intimidating as he did in the season's first month, but with the point guard averaging a 22-6-6-3-2 on 57 percent shooting over his last three, Scary Simmons appears to have returned.

And look man, we were owed a game like this. We haven't gotten a win that could accurately be described as "comfortable" since Thanksgiving. The Sixers aren't the Warriors, but they aren't go-months-without-relaxing bad, either. Eventually the Ballers were gonna break loose for a win that was never in doubt, and finally on Friday, we got to close this one out with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, James Michael McAdoo and Justin Anderson (welcome back!) hoisting triples. About friggin’ time. 

So the Sixers have won four in a row, battled back to .500, and are finally back in the playoff picture, sitting at eighth in the East with their 19-19 record. What do they earn for their achievement? Five days of rest and a ticket to London, where they'll play the Celtics next Thursday afternoon. 

Maybe not the best timing for the suddenly gelling Sixers to go most of a week without playing, but five days off to rest Joel's aching limbs — and give Markelle Fultz the practice reps to hopefully get him back in the fold shortly after the team's return Stateside — won't be the worst thing. The Sixers have righted the ship on their seemingly adrift season, but the waters stay rocky from here, with four straight against the cream of the East: Boston (twice), Toronto and Milwaukee. Then again, this is Sixers January — the month of utmost Process invincibility — so perhaps it's the rest of the East that should be fearful at the moment. 

Brent Celek would rather retire than play for Cowboys

Brent Celek would rather retire than play for Cowboys

Need another reason to love Brent Celek?

Probably not — the standing ovation he got at the Sixers game in March just hours after being cut by the Eagles gives you a sense of the connection he has with Philadelphia fans.

But appearing Friday on 97.5 The Fanatic, Celek did the one thing guaranteed to get you in any Eagles fan's good graces — diss the Cowboys.

"Hell no. Do you think I would play for the Cowboys? Philly is my home," Celek said. "If they offered me 10 million, I still wouldn't go."

While Celek said back in March before being cut that he wasn't planning to retire, it sounds like his mind has shifted. He has a hard time imagining himself playing anywhere besides Philadelphia.

"I think I'm leaning more toward retirement," Celek said. "I've had a few offers, but none of them are worth leaving a city that I have been in for 11 years where I won the Super Bowl in my final year. It wouldn't feel right to put another uniform on."

Like seeing Brian Dawkins in a Broncos uniform, it would be bizarre to watch Celek suit up for another team. 

If he does find a new home, we know it definitely won't be Dallas. 

You can listen to the full interview with Celek here

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Mets pitcher records 1st MLB hit off Scott Kingery, jokes on social media

Mets pitcher records 1st MLB hit off Scott Kingery, jokes on social media

When someone gets a bloop single or a broken bat hit, they’ll often say “it looks like a line drive in the box score.” Does the same apply when your first major-league hit came off Scott Kingery lobbing pitches over the plate?

Thursday, in the midst of the Mets' 20-run victory, the Phillies used position players to record the final nine outs of the game. Roman Quinn pitched first and regularly registered in the upper 70s with his offerings, but Kingery on the other hand …

In the eighth inning, Mets reliever Jerry Blevins was called on to hit for just the fourth time in his 12-year MLB career and he delivered with an RBI single off the soft-tossing rookie infielder. 

After the game, Blevins took to social media to make a joke about his first hit.

Mets fans had some fun with the moment, too.

While Dodgers fans, just didn’t get it.

The Phillies went on to win the second game of the twin bill, aided by a solo home run from Kingery. The Phils also gained a half-game on the Atlanta Braves in the standings, so we can have a laugh at this one.

Congratulations, Jerry, it’s a line drive off Kershaw in the box score.

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