March 17, 2014 | Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Posted: March 17, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS –– The Sixers fought hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer, keeping pace with 49-17 Indiana through the opening 46 minutes of the game, but a 14-2 run to end the game sealed a 99-90 victory for the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; the loss marked Philadelphia's 21st straight, a franchise record.
Trailing 88-85 with 1:55 left in regulation, Indiana guard Lance Stephenson was able to get open and hit an uncontested corner three to make it 91-85. On the next Philadelphia possession, Michael Carter-Williams committed a turnover and a poor defensive rotation led to another open three from the corner – this time a Paul George miss – that led to a Roy Hibbert and-1 bucket, pushing Indiana’s lead to 94-85. Tony Wroten scored on the next possession, but Paul George responded with an and-1 dunk to make it 97-87 with 42 seconds left. Hollis Thompson promptly responded with a three on the other end, but Philadelphia committed fouls before two inbounds plays down the stretch, allowing Indiana to pad their lead and maintain possession of the ball in both instances. In the end, the unfortunate stretch proved too much for the Sixers to overcome.
“We had a few balls that didn’t turn our way towards the end of the game, we had a couple turnovers, we left the corners open twice and gave them two threes, and we fouled before the inbounds and gave them two free throws and the ball back,” Thaddeus Young said after the game when asked about the final minutes of the fourth quarter. “But we were right there until the last two minutes of the game… We just have to come out, execute better, and get ourselves out of the mud.”
Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 23 points (9/19 FG) and five rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams finished with 15 points (7/20 FG), 13 rebounds, and five assists, Hollis Thompson contributed 17 points (6/7 FG, 4/4 3FG), and center Henry Sims added nine points, 11 rebounds, and three assists.
Sims also held All-Star center Roy Hibbert to just eight points on 3-for-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds; Hibbert was a -6 on the night and was the only Pacers starter with a negative +/-, while Sims was a +8 and was the only Sixer in the positives.
“You have to be physical, just like how they’re physical,” said Sims of defending his fellow Georgetown alum Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers’ frontcourt. “They bite, scratch, claw, punch, and you just have to do the same thing. You might get a few calls you don’t like, but nothing I’m not used to. I’m a Big East guy… Old Big East.”
Lance Stephenson finished with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting, and Paul George got to the line 14 times to turn a 4-for-14 performance from into 24 Pacer points on 4combined for 49 to lead Indiana.
“This team is well-coached, they have so much talent, and we’ve played them hard three times now,” said Coach Brown of his team’s 0-3 season series with the Pacers. “Tonight had a different feel because we were there [at the end of the game].”
The Sixers return to action Wednesday at 7pm against the Chicago Bulls at Wells Fargo Center.