However, being up 17 at one point and allowing the Spurs to climb back and make it a game late in the second half in the first night of a back-to-back surely wasn’t an ideal scenario for Doc Rivers’ 76ers. “The first unit started doing it at the end of their rotation. Then I thought the second unit just basically played ISO ball. That’s not who we are. It’s one of those games, sometimes you think you’re gonna win by a lot, and guys play free ball and what happened was the Spurs didn’t go away.”
San Antonio surely didn’t roll over when the Sixers reached a double-digit lead on Sunday night. Sure, Philly might’ve dominated the Spurs a couple of months ago without looking back, but the Spurs were out for revenge on Sunday, and they almost got what they wanted as the Sixers allowed them to climb back in the game and force overtime before Ben Simmons tipped in the game-winning buzzer-beater basket. “Give San Antonio credit, had those guys playing hard, moving the ball, attacking. But our guys know they didn’t play right, and they got away with one. It was more of a relief tonight than a celebration.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated.