You could see the frustration worsening on the Sixers’ faces as the fourth quarter came closer to an end. The Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Dallas Mavericks last night 97-94.
The game was in their hands, and they lost it. It was another loss for the 76ers, but I’m sure this particular flight home is extremely dissatisfying. The Sixers led the Mavericks for the majority of the game, and then it slipped away, painfully.
Like the young team they are, the Sixers came out fast and strong taking an 8-0 lead. They were moving the ball well, getting good looks under the basket, and open shots from all around the court. The consistency didn’t continue though. With the Sixers leading by as much as ten in the second quarter, they closed the half leading 47-43.
Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki had the first points for Dallas in each half. The second half was primarily close and the Sixers didn’t lose their lead until late in the third quarter, but it was a game-changer. A steal by Jae Crowder lead to a fast break and a two-handed dunk by Shawn Marion that energized the Dallas crowd and gave them the first lead of the game. You could tell that that play changed the momentum.
Philadelphia has lost three straight including 7 of the last 9. The frustration was all over the face of Evan Turner, who had a sufficient contribution offensive and defensively
“Obviously, frustration boils over and to a certain extent, you can only take so much and I lost my cool,” said Turner who received a technical foul late in the fourth quarter. Turner, who flirted with a triple-double, had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists on the night.
But the game didn’t get ugly until the fourth quarter. As a fan, it was hard to watch missed layups and foul shots. The Sixers missed 10 layups and shot 38.4 percent from the field. Five of their missed layups came in the fourth quarter. The Sixers made just 12 of 22 foul shots for the game.
“We shot ourselves in the foot tonight,” Sixers center Spencer Hawes said. “I don’t know how many layups, free throws, a combination of the two we missed. But if you can’t make those, then you don’t deserve to win.”
Outside of that, the only comfort that came for the Sixers organization last night is another loss and one step closer to a top four pick in the 2014 Draft. Another enlightening thought is that the Sixers are still in the first place of the pitiful Atlantic division with a 5-7 record.
The poor offense overshadows probably the best defensive game the Sixers have played thus far. They were all over the court defensively, but offensively it was a disaster. Nonetheless, Coach Brett Brown is proud of his team, and has a clear vision of where he wants them to go.
The Sixers next game comes Wednesday night when they travel back to the Wells Fargo Center to host the Toronto Raptors. The winner will be in first place of their division.
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