The defense wasn't there in the first half. They seemed a bit sluggish at times, and they were settling for too many jumpers. Houston couldn't miss a shot. After the break, though, the Sixers put their foot on the Rockets' throat and never let up. A nice, tidy double-digit win at home over a surging Western Conference foe. Good work.
Player of The Game:
- Pretty much a team effort tonight for this win. The Sixers got solid-to-very good games from all 7 of their regulars, and Andres Nocioni's damage didn't amount to a whole lot in his 14 minutes of action.
- Evan Turner earned his first DNPCD since December 22nd, and I think he really did earn it with his play on Monday. He was simply lost against the Bulls. I'm hoping this one DNP was a result of that game, and it's not going to result in him being lost for the rest of the season.
- Though the whole roster contributed, there were two stars who stood out. Thad Young backed up his magnificent game against the Bulls with another dominant performance off the bench. 11/19 from the floor, 9 boards and 22 points in 33 minutes of action. And Jrue, who was simply the best player on the floor tonight. 8/12 from the floor, 1/3 from three, 7/7 from the line, 2 boards, 12 assists and 24 points. He would've been your clear-cut POTG if not for the five turnovers. He still gets the award, but it was a close call. You can really see Collins' trust in Jrue growing as we near the playoffs. Jrue had four turnovers early, and they were mostly of the sloppy variety. Instead of freezing him out, though, Collins kept the ball in Jrue's hands and it paid dividends. This has really been a strong stretch for the kid, 59% from the floor, 50% from three, 94% from the line (on 5.3 FTA/game), 5 boards, 8.3 assists, 3 turnovers, 21.3 points. This has been Jrue's best stretch since Iguodala become the "point-forward" and it couldn't have come at a better time.
- This game played out exactly how I thought the Chicago game would have. The difference being, the Sixers have a spine and the Rockets have, well, Kevin Martin. After the solid first half, the Sixers stiffened in the third, made things hard for the Rockets, and they wilted under the pressure in the fourth. Thad and Lou had a lot to do with that. Lou looked pretty bad in the first half, but caught fire late in the third. Thad was a ball of energy all night, and looked like he shook off the after effects of the groin pull in a couple of minutes on the floor.
- The Knicks pulled out a nail-biter over the Nets a couple of minutes ago. They feel proud of themselves for giving Deron Williams a chance to tie the game. This is the same Nets team that lost to the Rockets by 25 the night before.
- Had the Cavs held on against the Bobcats, the Sixers would've clinched a playoff appearance tonight. I'd much prefer the Sixers lock it down with a win, though, they can get the job done on Friday night, at home, against the Nets.
- One other player to mention, Hawes. He started off really hot, and looked like the productive player we've seen over the past couple of games. Then the old (standard?) Hawes reappeared in the second half. He had about a 5-minute stretch where he was single-handedly keeping the Rockets in the game, and negating Jrue's offensive explosion. He went to the bench, came back in and hit a couple of big jumpers, so maybe we haven't seen the end of productive Spence.
vs. NJN, Friday night.
Also, the schedule
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