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San Antonio at Philadelphia, Final Score: Sixers eviscerate the Spurs, 99-134

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The Silver and Black get picked apart on the road by the Joel Embiid-less 76ers.

San Antonio Spurs v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers utterly dismantled the Spurs, 134-99, dominating San Antonio on the boards 52-32 and knocking down 15 three-pointers at a 51.7% clip.

Tobias Harris led the Sixers with a game-high 23 points, closely followed by 21 points from Seth Curry. Derrick White and Drew Eubanks paced the Silver and Black with 17 points apiece.

Observations

  • You probably don’t think of premium playmaking when you hear the name Drew Eubanks, but the third-year center was dropping dimes in the first half. His first masterpeice brought back memories of his baseball background as he hit Lonnie Walker IV in stride with a one-handed fastball that resulted in a pair of free throws. And the second was a gorgeous chest-pass through traffic that led a cutting Dejounte Murray right to the rim for a wide-open layup.
  • This loss was an unmitigated disaster. And while you can’t place all the blame on San Antonio’s uncharacteristically atrocious second unit, it was undoubtedly a significant factor. Rudy Gay and Patty Mills have been the stars of a league-leading bench, but neither veteran mustered much of anything versus Philadelphia. They combined for just two points on 0-of-11 shooting from the field and had as many turnovers as rebounds.
  • Lonnie Walker IV looked confident and collected from the first tip in his homecoming. The Reading, Pennsylvania product registered 13 points off the bench in the first half, flashing his three-level scoring potential with buckets at the rim, outside of the paint, and beyond the arc. The third-year two guards would only play two more minutes in the second half, finishing the evening with 15 points in 15 minutes.
  • Matisse Thybulle and Devin Vassell are far and away the top team defenders to come out of the last two drafts, and it was like watching a real-life incarnation of the Spider-Man pointing meme when the six-five wings shared the floor. Neither player scores much for their respective ball-club, but they’re deflection machines who can do a bit of everything while making winning plays.
  • Former fan-favorite Danny Green was raring to go against Popovich and company, scoring 11 of Philadelphia’s first 15 points to open the game. The 3-and-D specialist was a notoriously poor ball-handler in San Antonio, so of course, Danny drained a couple of tremendously tough jumpers off the dribble. Unfortunately for the Silver and Black, this was a sign of things to come. Virtually every Sixer had their way for the remainder of the outing, and even Paul Reed, Isaiah Joe, and Vincent Poirier checked into the contest.
  • One of the numerous highlights of this season has been the drastic evolution of Dejounte Murray as a finisher. The spindly point guard shot just 55.2% in the restricted area last year and has bumped that efficiency up to 63% up to this point. Murray put that development on display, converting an array of arrhythmic floaters and layups with defenders draped all over him. As was the case with the rest of the starting lineup, Dejounte found almost no success once the third quarter began.
  • Philadelphia’s earned edition jerseys are arguably one of the worst designed uniforms in the league. If this was Nike’s best attempt at honoring one of sixteen playoff teams from a year ago, then they missed the mark by a mile. The off-white cream color provides a good base, but the gigantic blue liberty bell plastered across the front is suffocating. Overall, some uninspiring threads.
  • Coach Popovich waved the white flag early as he called on a cleanup crew of Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Lonnie Walker IV, Luka Samanic, and Drew Eubanks with a little less than five minutes left in the third quarter. Considering San Antonio was down by more than 20 points on the first night of a back-to-back, it wasn’t all that shocking to see the young guys get into the game. The lack of cohesiveness this rag-tag unit possessed wasn’t too surprising either, though there were a few moments of individual brilliance.
  • Derrick White got San Antonio on the scoreboard with a contested catch-and-shoot trifecta that made sweet string music as it passed through the net. The fourth-year combo guard kept his momentum going after his opening basket, asserting his presence on both ends with 15 points, four blocks, and two steals in the first half alone. The second half, well, that was an entirely different story.

For the Sixers fans’ perspective, visit Liberty Ballers.

The San Antonio Spurs return to the court tomorrow night against the Detroit Pistons as they continue their five-game Eastern Conference