Monday night in Charlotte was supposed to be a blowout in the eyes of 76ers fans. Instead, the game against the last place Bobcats was a rollercoaster of a ride with the Philadelphia 76ers notching their 20th win of the season, 98-89. The 76ers, now 20-9, did not record their 20th win last season until their 45th game.
The game began as most fans would have expected, with the 76ers up by as many as 15 points in the second quarter. Point guard Jrue Holiday provided the offensive spark, starting 5-5 from the field in the first quarter for 11 of his 19 points. Over the last two weeks, Holiday has had the rough responsibility of guarding and playing against point guards like Derrick Rose, Derek Fisher, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul. He played decently and has now started this stretch of road games with games of 20 points and 19 points, respectively.
With a ten point lead at the half, it appeared that the 76ers would coast to an easy win against the Bobcats, especially with how they have been dominating the third quarter this season. Well, the Bobcats had a different plan and held the 76ers to just 16 points in the frame, enabling them to climb back within four. Getting within two points at 81-79 with 6:32 to play, Lou Williams hit a deep, dagger-like three pointer that sparked a 17-10 76ers’ run to end the game. The Bobcats have now lost 15 straight games.
Williams led the 76ers with 23 points off the bench, his eighth 20 point game of the season. Thaddeus Young also added 20 points off the bench for the 76ers sixth game with dual 20 point scorers. They have yet to have a 30 point scorer this season, and have not had one since Elton Brand scored 33 points on February 4th, 2011. Since Allen Iverson left Philadelphia, the 76ers have only had ten 30-point scorers in a game. To put that in perspective, Allen Iverson had 303 career 30+ points games for the 76ers.
The Bobcats have to be impressed with the play of star-rookie Kemba Walker as of late. With D.J. Augustin still injured, Walker has been thrust into the starting lineup and hasn’t disappointed. Adding 21 points and five assists against the 76ers, Walker is now averaging 14.9 points per game as a starter compared to 10.0 points per game as a reserve off the bench. Could the torch be being passed? We shall see. Corey Maggette led the Bobcats with 22 points and reserve big-man added 13 points and nine rebounds. The Bobcats appear destined for the draft lottery, if not the first overall pick this season.
Once again, the 76ers dominated the turnover aspect of the game. With the Bobcats turning the ball over 15 times, the 76ers now have 24 games this season where they have forced their opponent into double-digit turnovers. The 76ers also recorded their 13th game in which they haven’t committed double-digit turnovers. They had 19 games with less than ten turnovers last season. Before tonight, the 76ers already led the NBA in turnover per game differential and assists per turnover. The 76ers average 10.5 turnovers this season while causing 14.3 opponent turnovers. Their assist per turnover rate is at 2.13 and had 21 assists to just seven total turnovers against the Bobcats.
The 76ers continue on the road against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. They are 8-2 this season against the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference, with both losses coming to the Miami Heat.
Interesting Stat: Andre Iguodala was 1-6 shooting and had just three points—his lowest scoring total since 1/11/11 when he scored just one point. He did have a team-high nine assists.
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.