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Three observations after Sixers lost dramatic, controversial game with Harden back


Three observations after Sixers lost dramatic, controversial game with Harden back Originally appeared in NBC Sports Philadelphia

james hardeningFirst game back Philadelphia since becoming Traded from 76ers There’s no shortage of drama.

Down 108-107 Scissors With 5.1 seconds left, the 76ers won a jump ball at midcourt. Kelly Oubre Jr. A drive into the paint came up empty, although Sixers head coach Nick Nurse expressed doubt that a foul was not called on the play.

Nurse was furious after the final buzzer sounded and didn’t hesitate to express his displeasure at not being called.

In the end, the 76ers’ record fell to 39 wins and 34 losses this season, and the Clippers’ record improved to 45 wins and 27 losses.

Tyrese Maxey Scored 26 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds.

Paul George He scored 22 points and became the Clippers’ top scorer. Harden scored 16 points and 14 assists.

76ers fall behind Joel Embiid (left knee meniscal surgery), De’Anthony Melton (lumbar bone stress) and Robert Covington (Left kneecap contusion).

Nurse said before the game that he thought “there’s a good chance (Embiid) would be back before the playoff play-in game.”

As for Covington, Nurse said the 33-year-old forward has “made some progress.” He called Melton “not that close yet,” but Nurse said he still expects both Covington and Melton to return before the end of the game. Regular season.

The 76ers now have nine regular season games remaining.They will play five of their next six games, starting with Friday night against Cavaliers.

Here’s a look at their loss on Wednesday:

The 76ers defense is starting to go all out

No one expected Harden to receive a warm welcome.

In fact, he was loudly booed when he introduced the starting lineup and when he touched the ball.

The boos turned to cheers when Harden missed his first two 3-pointers and caught a pass from George on the sideline.george and Kawhi Leonard The Clippers’ star trio started the game 0-for-6 from the field.

The 76ers’ defensive performance in the first quarter was outstanding, chasing the Clippers’ score difference to 18 points. The team’s physical fitness and solid defensive ability in low singles and without fouls were particularly impressive. Mason Plumlee He was the only player on the Clippers to attempt a free throw in the first quarter.

In addition to solid one-on-one work, the Sixers are also strong in helping each other and executing Nurse’s plans. The 76ers forced the Clippers to violate the shot clock on one possession, and they were aided by Leonard’s temporary mismatch with Maxey. On the next play, Oubre committed an offensive foul on George.

Maxey, on the other hand, was actually the last starter for the 76ers to score in the game. Scored the team’s first 16 points in Sacramento. He hit a hard finger roll at the buzzer in the first quarter to give the 76ers a 30-18 lead.

Maxiurgently needed presence

Maxey came on for the first 15 minutes and showed exceptional defensive energy in the final moments.

Maxey played a lot of aggressive defensive plays, even though Harden hit four on him.For example, he blocked Russell Westbrook To avoid gaining any separation on the breakaway, stick to him tightly and deny his shot.

Maxey’s efforts set the tone. The 76ers overwhelmed the Clippers in the first half, frequently losing the ball and offensive rebounds. Although they made 4 of 17 three-pointers in the first half, the 76ers still occupied the half-time lead. Advantage.

However, the lead was only four points. Cameron Payne Unable to replicate his stellar performance in the Sixers’ win over the Clippers on Sunday, Los Angeles found some momentum in Maxey’s absence. George and Leonard still couldn’t get on track, but Harden scored several shots in transition, including a layup and a three-pointer. He drove the ball away. Aamir Kofi Completed an open three-pointer on the Clippers’ final play of the first half.

When Embiid is healthy and the Sixers find themselves in a close game, it seems like everyone is counting down the seconds until he gets back on the court. This situation is not unusual for Maxey, who played 44 minutes on Sunday and did the same on Wednesday night. Presence is often very important.

Leonard leads Clippers to final victory

As expected, George hit two three-pointers at the beginning of the third quarter, and the Clippers led 56-55.

The 76ers responded with a 6-0 run A mobamba Tip-in and Bamba layup. The big man finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double with the Sixers.

Buddy Hield At the end of the third quarter, he also stepped up and made two three-pointers and a breakthrough layup at a stage when the 76ers desperately needed to relieve Maxey’s offensive burden. The 76ers All-Star guard also contributed some highlight-reel shooting, handling a variety of defenders and coverage with confidence.

Still, the Clippers remain dynamic and threatening. Harden passed the ball long distance to Leonard for a dunk, cutting the 76ers’ lead to 91-89.

The Sixers’ role players ended up contributing a lot around Maxey. Nicholas Batum Making sure no one forgot he was part of the Harden deal, he hit two huge corner threes in the fourth quarter and blocked the 10-time All-Star’s layup attempt.

Still, the game was tight and Maxey slipped while going out of bounds on the sideline with 61 seconds left, resulting in a Sixers turnover. They coughed up the ball on the next inbounds, too, and both turnovers hurt.

Leonard made a layup and the Clippers led 105-104. Following Hield’s three-pointer, the two-time Finals MVP succeeded again.

Near the end of the game, Oubre attacked Leonard and saw his layup attempt get stuck between the rim and the backboard. The referees upheld the request after review, setting the stage for a dramatic and controversial final act.



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