In what ultimately will go down as one of the team’s “better” losses this year, the Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by a score of 136-130. Riddled with injuries left and right, the Sixers were able to put on a high scoring affair which kept fans intrigued to the very last second.
Heading into the primetime afternoon match-up, most people expected the Sixers to get blown out. They were entering Los Anegeles just 9-21 on the road and were without their two All-Stars (Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons).
However, it appeared the team had other ideas. Led by former G-League standout Shake Milton, the Sixers came out of the gate scorching hot. They put up 39 in the first quarter and then 33 in the second. Milton led the way with a stunning 26 first half points, missing just one shot in the entire half.
Unfortunately, the Sixers were delivered yet another blow as the second quarter began. Josh Richardson took a shot to the head and had to leave the game due to a nose contusion/concussion. Read more about his injury here: “Josh Richardson’s concussion injury adds to Sixers’ injury woes“.
The Sixers continued to ride Milton and his electric shooting in the second half, as they fought to stay close with a star-studded Clippers squad. Milton would finish the afternoon with a career-high 39 points while also tying the NBA record for most consecutive threes made across multiple games (13).
Midway through the fourth quarter, Al Horford fouled out. The Sixers were now just down to one day-one starter. The inevitable loss seemed finally ready to arrive.
Led by a combined 54 points from Kawhi and Paul George, the Clippers would go on to close things out in the final few minutes. The Sixers now drop to 9-22 on the road as they continue to slip further behind the Miami Heat in the eastern conference standings.
A “Good” Loss
Nobody likes to lose. But occasionally, you can lose a game and be able to take away some serious positives from it.
- Shake Milton has arrived. Shake poured in 39 points on 14-20 shooting while also knocking in seven threes. He was defended by both Paul George and Kawhi at times, and even saw some double teams. His continued emergence as a legit scoring option is huge for a Sixers team desperate for some shot creation.
- Al Horford wasn’t terrible. Horford wasn’t necessarily good on Sunday, but he wasn’t his usual awful self. At this point in time, I’ll take 12 points, eight rebounds ,and six assists any day of the week from Horford.
- Mike Scott played some key minutes. Once a legit sixth man for Philly, Scott has seriously struggled in 2020. Against the Clippers Scott recorded 11 points and six boards, while also knocking in three three-point shots.
- The overall energy was fantastic. The Sixers have really struggled to stay focused when away from home, which is reflected by their miserable road record. However, on Sunday the team came out firing. Shake was obviously electric, Tobias Harris was aggressive (25 points), guys like Scott and Alec Burks (15 points) were forces off the bench, and even Josh Richardson was productive before going down with his injury (Nine points).
The Sixers will stay in Los Angeles as they prepare to take on the first place Lakers this Tuesday night. Yet another big test for the injury-riddled Philly squad as they attempt to close the gap on the four seed in the east. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:00 PM ET.
Mandatory Credit – © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports