• June 9, 2023

Early Struggles Doom Sixers In 107-103 Loss To The Trailblazers

The 76’ers tried to run with the Portland Trailblazers early in their season opener, only to have it cost them in the end. The host Blazers, energized by the opening night home crowd jumped on the visiting Sixers with an array of dunks, layups and offensive rebounding that set the tone in their 107-103 victory over the visiting Sixers.

The Sixers who trailed by as many as 16 points in the 4th quarter were led by Andre Iguodala (22 points) and Lou Williams (25 points) who led a frantic comeback that cut the Blazers lead to 105-103 with 16.9 seconds remaining.

The first quarter told the tale as the Sixers unsuccessfully tried to match the output and intensity of the Blazers, digging themselves an 11-point hole after the first stanza. The Sixers shot 31 percent, going 1 for 5 from beyond the arc and committing five turnovers. The Blazers used their size to work the Sixers in the paint and on the glass, outrebounding them 19-11 with seven of those boards coming on the offensive end.

LaMarcus Aldridge(25 points)  will be looked upon as the leader of this team in the wake of the retirement of All-Star guard Brandon Roy. Aldridge asserted himself early, hitting and array of jump shots in spite of any number of hands in his face and layups/dunks in the paint. Gerald Wallace was his usual aggressive self finishing with 21 points and 9 rebounds.

The additions of point guard Raymond Felton and free agent acquisition Wesley Matthews gave the Sixers’ interior defense problems as well as on the perimeter. Felton and Matthews finished with 12 and 16 points, respectively. Jamal Crawford’s debut for his new team saw him produce 12 points 4 rebounds and 4 steals in 21 minutes of action. Not to be outdone or overlooked was the play of veteran Marcus Camby who finished with six points, 13 rebounds and and six assists.

The Sixers shot significantly better in the second half (55% compared to 39%) but the turnovers kept them from making a run at a win earlier in the contest. When the game closed to within 4-6 points, a turnover broke any momentum gained. Reserves Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young shot a combined 10 of 20 from the floor to finish with 20 points between them, Young also had eight rebounds and two steals while Turner fouled out late in the game.

Spencer Hawes finished one assist shy of a triple-double with 10 points 14 boards and nine assists. Jrue Holiday has seen better nights finished with 13 points and 6 turnovers before fouling out. Elton Brand contributed with 10 points and 8 boards. The team is still in need of someone who is willing to take fouls in the paint, too many times the Blazers were allowed to slash to the hole uncontested. In reality, the Sixers need a goon (sorry Coach Chaney).

The Sixers face the Phoenix Suns tomorrow night.

Ron Glover

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