Philadelphia News & Search
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Forty times previously this regular season, the 76ers took the floor at The Center, almost always bringing with them an admirable, steely spirit.
Very quickly Monday, it became apparent that these signature sensibilities would once again be put to the test, this time in a match-up marking the team’s final home outing of the campaign.
Despite falling behind by as many as 21 points in the first quarter, the Sixers still managed to summon up enough resilience to make Monday’s pairing against Indiana a game.
The Pacers – needing a win, or losses from either Chicago or Miami, to secure a spot in the playoffs – very much played like a club that didn’t want any help. Each time the Sixers threatened, Indiana had an answer, emerging from South Philadelphia with a 120-111 triumph.
With the loss, the Sixers ended up going winless on their now-completed four-game homestand. Nevertheless, they finished the 2016-2017 slate with a record of 17-24 at The Center, their best home record of the four-year Brett Brown era.
Four-time All-Star Paul George ignited Indiana’s strong start, scoring 17 of his game-best 27 points in Monday’s opening period. The Sixers were led by Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who generated a new career-high 24 points in 36 minutes.
The veteran Pacers, which cranked out 35 points in the first 12 minutes of regulation, were able to establish key advantages on the interior. They outrebounded the Sixers by 11 (44-33), outscored their hosts 62-36 in the paint, and turned aside six shots.
Indiana converted 57.6 percent of its field goal attempts, and weathered a potent perimeter performance from the Sixers. Behind a 5 for 7 3-point shooting effort from rookie Alex Poythress, the Sixers ended the night with 13 triples.
Midway through Monday’s second quarter, the Sixers found life. After a pair of personal fouls limited him to just four minutes of action in the first, Richaun Holmes came back with vengeance. All the second-year big man needed was 30 seconds to deliver determined and-1’s on back-to-back possessions, then slam home a vicious alley-oop slam on the Sixers’ third straight trip down the floor.
A 3-pointer from Luwawu-Cabarrot moments later capped off a swift 11-0 blitz, and brought the Sixers within seven, 52-45. They were able to charge back within single digits at several stages of the second half, but Indiana refused to budge.
In the culmination of his punishing second-quarter flurry, Richaun Holmes used a hard cut, well-timed jump, and exceptional reach to throw down the roughly 45-foot long halfcourt pass from T.J. McConnell for this impressive alley-oop. The connection allowed the Sixers to wipe out a sizable 18-point deficit, and provided a much-needed spark.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 11, 2017
The 68th season of professional basketball in the history of the 76ers’ franchise comes to an end Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, where long-time Atlantic Division foe the New York Knicks will serve as hosts. True to the form of any good rivalry, the Sixers and Knicks have gone down to the wire in each of their three previous meetings this season. T.J. McConnell drained a baseline buzzer-beater over Carmelo Anthony January 11th at The Center to send the Sixers to a 98-97 victory. Five weeks later at MSG, Anthony himself drilled a shot in the final seconds to lift the Knicks over the Sixers, 110-109. Most recently, on March 3rd, the Sixers edged New York again, 105-102.
Philadelphia News & Search