Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 12/27/11

The Philadelphia 76ers came up just short in their effort to upend the Portland Trailblazers, falling by a score of 107-103. It was almost unreal as Philly started heating up from behind the arc, hitting six of their nine attempts in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three's by Andre Iguodala in the final minute. The Sixers had a shot to tie it up at the end, but Iguodala was unable to sink what appeared to be a forced three pointer in the final seconds. Prior to that shot, Lou Williams had put together a 10-point run of his own, which would suggest the Sixers targeting him on the final shot; yet, Iguodala took it upon himself to take the clutch attempt.

But nonetheless, the Sixers showed tremendous heart throughout the game, having just one lead in the entire game (2-0 in the opening minutes). 

There appeared to be some jet lag early on as Philadelphia struggled to convert on their shots and allowed Portland to jump out to an early lead. The reoccuring problem all night was in the turnover deparment. The Sixers turned the ball over three times in the opening four minutes of play and finished with 20 total when the final buzzer sounded. 

Turnovers weren't the only problem for Philadelphia, though. Portland's 107-103 win came in large part to the play of LaMarcus Aldridge. The All-Star big man racked up 25 points on 11 buckets and compiled seven rebounds. His ability to hit mid-range shots in addition to posting up down low was just too much for Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand to contain. 

Former Charlotte Bobcat forward, Gerald Wallace, finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. More importantly, though, Wallace was seen throughout the night "flopping" and drawing fouls on the Sixers, which made it very difficult for Philly on the offensive side. The refs didn't help either as they continually called a tight game against the Sixers, which resulted in both Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner fouling out. 

Offensively, Philly enjoyed a succesful night from both Iguodala and Williams. The duo combined for 47 points on 16-31 shooting. Every player who recorded minutes besides Jodie Meeks (3 pts) finished in double-figures.

Losing is never a good thing, but Philadelphia learned a lot tonight. For starters, Iguodala and Williams displayed an ability to hit pivotal shots down the stretch, which was an area of concern entering the season. In addition, Spencer Hawes appears to be a solid big man. He fell just short of recording a triple-double (10 pts, 14 reb, 9 ast). The loss also provided an example of what will happen when a team turns the ball over 20 times. 

Philadelphia's opening five game road trip will continue Wednesday at Phoenix (0-1). 

Be sure to follow Kyle on Twitter @Kyle_Phillippi!

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