The Sixers came out flat against the worst team in the league tonight, woke up in the third quarter, hit their stride in the fourth, and separated themselves from the Grizzlies in overtime to come away with a 117-112 win. It's no coincidence that it took three full quarters for the Sixers to really come to life. Willie Green played 32 of the first 36 minutes. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he played exactly 3.8 seconds.
Willie Green had an outstanding shooting night, for him, 7/14 from the floor, but he still crippled the team with 5 turnovers. One last Willie Green stat, then I'm done with him: with Green on the floor the Sixers were -5 points, with Green on the bench, +10 points.
Kyle Korver (27 points) and Andre Iguodala (27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) led the way on offense for the Sixers, especially down the stretch and in overtime, but the player of the game is Joe Smith. With Dalembert in foul trouble pretty much the whole night, Smith played 37 minutes and finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds (6 offensive) and 2 blocks. Speaking of Dalembert, Cheeks called his number early in the fourth quarter, and with 5 fouls he proceeded to absolutely lock down Pau Gasol, holding him to 2 points in the the 4th quarter and overtime. He played smart, but aggressive defense, and this is a really good sign for the Sixers. For a shot blocker to play 17 minutes without picking up a foul AND shut down the other team's most potent offensive weapon is a veteran move. Dalembert's maturation process is extending to the defensive side of the ball as well.
The Sixers matched their longest winning streak of the season tonight, at 3. They'll try to make it four in a row against the resurgent Nets on Sunday night in Philly.
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