The Sixers once again were within touching distance of a second straight home win over a playoff-bound team last night, but unlike the game against the Hawks..something happened. It just.. vanished.
Aaron Brooks gave it one last burst of energy and had enough confidence to hit a monster three-pointer with 33 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 92.
As the final seconds rapidly went by Isaiah Canaan and Luc Mbah a Moute both had huge opportunities to win it for the Sixers failed to find the net. It was evident in the first few moments of Overtime that The Sixers had burnt themselves out. The flair, energy, pace and composure simply vanished as they were outscored 12-3 to suffer a 104-95 loss.
Brooks led all scorers with a huge 31 points. Pau Gasol scored 27 and recorded a game-high 16 rebounds. Gasol was the man we knew the Sixers had to keep in check all game if they had any chance of winning. However, with such huge holes in the Bulls lineup you’d think it would encourage the Sixers to attack head on. But they didn’t, Of their 104 shot attempts, 41 of them came from outside the paint making just 11.
Nerlens Noel was unable to close out the game for the Sixers. The rookie, was in a war with Gasol in the paint all night,and finally the frustration overwhelmed him as he fouled out with 26 seconds remaining.
He finished the game on 8 points, 15 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. As predicted, Noel was the main man in limiting Gasol’s damage after a 14-point, six-rebound opening quarter, shutting him down in comparison.
A loss like this can be tough to take, especially considering it’s their 50th of the season. But the team played well and Noel is looking increasingly comfortable in the team. If they can play like that for the remainder of the season, they may even hit 20 wins.
The Sixers continue their five-game homestand against DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings on Friday