So, Wednesday night the Philadelphia 76ers found out there is a team hotter than they are. The streaking San Antonio Spurs came into Philadelphia and rode the hot hand of Tony Parker to a sixth straight win, beating the 76ers 100-90.
Many felt that the older and slower Spurs would struggle to pick up the slack with do-everything guard Manu Ginobili already missing 22 games, but Tony Parker looks younger than ever—and is playing like it.
Parker scorched the much younger 76ers guards for 37 points, as well as dishing out eight assists in a game that only needs word to describe it: domination. Whenever the 76ers made a run, Parker either made a devastating jumper, or went to the rim and caused the usually disciplined 76ers to commit undisciplined fouls. Parker was a perfect 13-13 from the charity strike, while the 76ers shot 11 total free throws as a team.
Despite shooting only 41%, the 76ers didn’t exactly throw up a dud. They played well enough to have the opportunity to be in the game, but just couldn’t cause the Spurs to make the mistakes that the 76ers live off of. The 76ers defense has been ruthless over the last five games, causing an average of 14 turnovers a game, but only forced the Spurs into a season-low six.
Two nights after scoring 24 points to lead the 76ers to a triumphant win over the hated Los Angeles Lakers, Lou Williams again led the 76ers with 22 points off the bench. Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday, and Elton Brand joined Williams in double figures, but the rest of the team had nights to forget. Jodie Meeks, Nikola Vucevic, Lavoy Allen, and Evan Turner combined for a total of nine points. On most nights, the 76ers would have had enough firepower to get the W, but not with Parker playing like the 2007 Parker who won the NBA Finals MVP.
Parker is now averaging 28.4 points per game over his last five games, including a 42-point performance in a victory over the NBA leading Oklahoma City Thunder. Reserves Gary Neal (18 points) and Tiago Splitter (15 points) added the complimentary firepower for Parker, while the ageless Tim Duncan registered his eighth double-double game of the season. With all of that said, the Spurs might be adding more ammunition with a possible Ginobili return this weekend.
Since January 30th, the 76ers have had a seven game stretch of opponents that included some notorious powerhouses in the Magic, Bulls, Heat, Lakers, and Spurs. They are 4-2 so far, and will conclude the stretch against the “Lob City” Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Clips will be without Sixer-killer Chauncey Billups, who tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.