Sixers’ Late Rally Falls Short
After a tight, back-and-forth first half, San Antonio used 16-0 run to open up a 23-point lead at the start of the third quarter. But the Summer Sixers would battle back, holding the Spurs to 4-13 shooting in the final frame to cut it to 93-91 in the game’s final moments.
Trailing, 83-65, to start the final quarter, the Sixers erupted for a 20-6 run to make for an exciting finish. San Antonio would sink two free throws to extend the lead to 95-91 with less than five seconds remaining to send Philly to its second consecutive narrow loss.
Philadelphia outscored San Antonio 28-12 in the final quarter. As a team, the Sixers shot 44.3 percent from the field, which was a slight improvement over the 41.8 percentage from Monday night’s game against the Celtics.
Young Talent Shines
Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Richaun Holmes, James Nunnally and T.J. McConnell all got the night off against the Spurs. All five of the resting Sixers played more than 21 minutes in Monday night’s loss to the Celtics, and the trio of Simmons, TLC and Holmes all scored more than 10 points.
With the group of Sixers resting, a number of new faces got a chance to log minutes, many making the most of their opportnities; only two players failed to score, while six finished with double digits.
Byron Allen, Tomasz Gielo, Maodo Lo, Shawn Long and Javon McCrea all got playing time against the Spurs after being inactive for Monday night’s game.
The young talent carried over the high energy from the first summer league game, fueling the late comeback effort with defensive effort and aggressive, but unselfish offense. Lo shot 62.5 percent from the field (5-for-8), and knocked down two of his four three-pointers. He finished the contest with 13 points.
Kwame Vaughn netted 12 points, three assists and three rebounds, all while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Randolph added 14 points of his own, shooting 6-for-10 from the field. Both Long and Allen totaled 10 points each, and Allen’s seven steals led all players.
Sixer of the Game
After posting a team-high 20 points against the Celtics, Christian Wood once again led the squad in scoring, this time racking up 19.
He wasn’t just making easy layups, either. At halftime, Wood had 13 points, including two three-point shots in only 11 minutes on the floor. Wood was efficient, shooting 62.5 percent from the field (5-for-8), and going 2-for-3 from three-point land. He also added seven rebounds, one assist and one steal, and provided good value on the defensive side of the ball.
Through two games, Wood is showing the confidence that made him a 49.7-percent shooter from the field 15.7-point-per-game scorer during his final year at UNLV.
“Experience, it goes a long way,” Wood said after the contest. “Just using my talent and my length. I didn’t really take any days off [since end of season]. I’m glad it’s paying off for me.”
On a crucial play in the fourth quarter, Wood had the awareness to call a timeout seconds before he stepped out of bounds. When asked about his improvement in Year 2, he went on to say his improved strength has been the catalyst for his impressive summer league thus far.
“I would say just me getting stronger. I can get to the rim easier now than I could a couple of months ago.”
Quote of the Day: Summer league coach Billy Lange
“We represent Philadelphia, right? We represent the logo, and this logo represents toughness.”
Before the Sixers play their final game of the Utah summer league, they’ll get one day off. Philadelphia will face the hosting Utah Jazz Thursday at 9 p.m.