After trailing by as much as 18 points on Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, the Sixers kept their heads down and battled to a 114-107 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
As the game got underway it was looking as though the Kings would be the dominant force. They had big advantages for most of the first two quarters and retained momentum between the intervals. But as the Sixers stepped onto the court in the third, something changed. Instead of rolling over and taking a loss, the team became resilient. A quality that has been somewhat absent this season. In the third quarter alone, the Sixers shot 65.2 percent from the floor and held Sacramento to 31.3 percent from the field.
The final minute was as intense as you could imagine, as Nerlens Noel continued his breakout season by scoring an ally-oop assisted by Ish Smith. Noel, once again was sensational. The rookie managed to attain his 12th double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds, including another addition to the ever expanding block list.
Noel wasn’t the only man performing exceedingly well. Robert Covington led the Sixers scoring with 24 points also tied his career high with six three-pointers.
The Sixers won with a notable absence. Jason Richardson missed the game due to injury concerns about his knee but has been cleared to play on Saturday when Philly host the Brooklyn Nets.
If this is what a Sixers side can do whilst missing a key piston to the engine, imagine what it’s going to happen if they can get the turbo working.