Final Score: Sixers 112, Kings 85
Summary: Fans who came down to the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night got a first hand look at two teams heading in two very different directions.
Despite what some would say is an even matchup in talent, the Sixers (7-2) simply out worked and out hustled the Kings for a 112-85 victory, the teams 6th in a row. The attitude and play from the Sixers was a big difference from Sacramento's attitude, who dropped to 3-7 and looked disinterested throughout the whole game.
As has been the case all season, each member of the 76ers played their part, and the collection of them was good enough to blow out a Sacremento team that looked like anything but. The Kings played like a team that was a collection of individual talent, but could not put it together and did not seem interested in trying to do so.
Elton Brand had an outstanding game for the Sixers, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Sixers now travel to New York to take on the Knicks, their first chance this season to show how they matchup against the top teams in their division.
Top Performer: Elton Brand, Sixers- Brand had a great game on the offensive end, but was even more impressive on defense. Brand simply outworked DeMarcus Cousins and made him a nonfactor in the game.
Didn't Show Up: DeMarcus Cousins- Cousins attitude has been talked about on ESPN for weeks, but those at the Wells Fargo Center got to see first hand how little the 2nd year player seems to care. He is everything the players in the Sixers locker room are not- lazy and disinterested.
Game Was Over When: Jodie Meeks hit a 3 pointer with 8:51 to go in the 3rd quarter, putting the Sixers up 21.
End of the 1st: Sixers 26, Kings 22
End of the 2nd: Sixers 52, Kings 42
End of the 3rd: Sixers 84, Kings 60
End of the 4th: Sixers 112, Kings 85
What I Liked:
Sixers As A Team: Nine games into the season, it's fair to question if this Sixers teams fools gold. But until they show differently, it's hard to find a glaring hole in this team. They can score, they can shoot, they defend, and they have the look of a team that is here to stay. If the Sixers can get past the New York Knicks, it's easy to see them running all the way to 11-2. Getting there would require them to win 9 games in a row- but they way they have been playing recently, that is not out of the question.
Evan Turner: Turner was a player that coming out of college, experts said needed to get comfortable in the NBA before he would really start to show the potential he did at Ohio State. Watching Turner this season, the difference is noticeable and it is big. In the first quarter, Turner brought the ball up the court and was patient as he waited for an opening before going to the basket for an easy hoop.
Defense: The Sixers have been tremendous this season on defense, and that was no different against the Sacramento Kings. The Sixers held the Kings to 39% shooting in the first quarter on 23 shots, and shot 60% on the offensive end on only 20 shots. Elton Brand did a great job on Cousins downlow, blocking him on back-to-back shots in the 2nd quarter. The only King that really got it going against the Sixers was Tyreke Evans, who was able to get to the basket pretty easily in the first half.
Thaddeus Young: Young did a good job tonight on the offensive end, taking it to the basket hard on DeMarcus Cousins multiple times. Despite being 3 inches shorter then Cousins, Young was able to score pretty easily. His offensive game has really improved from last season, and is a big reason the Sixers bench is the best in the league.
Consistency: The Sixers have been very impressive during this 6 game winning streak, but a closer looks at the numbers shows they have been down right dominant at times. In the last 6 games, the Sixers have only been outscored in 4 quarters, making them 20-24. Coming into the game the Sixers had won 8 quarter in a row, and extended that streak t0 12 in the win over the Kings.
What I Didn't Like:
Jimmer Freddette: It's way to early to say that Jimmer cannot be the player he was at BYU, but watching him against the Sixers, he did not look very good. Jimmer is much smaller in person and looks small even for 6'2. He looks over his shoulder to much as he runs with the ball, a sign that he is not yet comfortable on the professional level.
DeMarcus Cousins: Over these past few weeks as Cousins has been such a problem in the Kings locker room he got his coach fired, the media kept talking about how talented the 6'11 power forward is. That may be true, but it was not on display against the Sixers. Cousins lost his matchup against Elton Brando on both sides of the floor, as the veteran Brand held him in check downlow on defense. Cousins may soon be traded as another team hopes he can be the player he was at Kansas for them, but those who want the Sixers to trade for him might want to be careful what they wish for.
Hawes Missing Time: Hawes played just under 11 minutes before having to leave the game at halftime with a back strain against the Kings. Hawes has been struggling with a back injury for the past few games, and with the season still so young, Doug Collins and the medical staff made the right call not allowing him to return. The injury is likely no serious, but a back strain is something that could linger as the season goes on if he doesn't get enough rest.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks
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