The Sixers solidified their 2011 resurgence with a 77-71 victory over the NBA’s best team the San Antonio Spurs in front of 15,000 at the Wells Fargo Center tonight. It was only the Spurs 9th loss of the season and was by far the Sixers biggest win of the year. The young and aggressive Sixers team led by head coach Doug Collins continues to improve and impress. Currently sitting as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conferences it is safe to say that the Sixers will be a playoff team. It was a defensive battle tonight proven by the final score but the Sixers came out on top winning their 4th straight against the Spurs at home.
Jrue Holiday turned in an impressive performance leading all scorers with 27 points, shooting 3 for 4 from behind the arc, while adding 5 boards and 3 steals. Elton Brand grabbed 17 boards, tying his season high, and added 8 points. Holiday and Brand each provided some crucial shots down the stretch.
The Sixers were outrebounded by the Spurs 57-46 but the D turned in an exceptional performance holding the Spurs to only 71 points and 33% from the field. Although the Spurs managed to grab 15 offensive rebounds it did not help their scoring effort one bit.
A win like this is just what this young team needs. After a tough loss to Orlando on Wednesday night the Sixers bounced back in a major way. On any given night when the Sixers are at their best they proved that they can beat anybody. It is evident by the way this team hustles and executes that Collins has already proved to be the perfect teacher and leader for the Sixers young squad.
“I’ve never been more proud, this was a grinded out half-court game.” Collins said, “A marvelous win for our team, for us to be able to beat the best team in the league. Our guys were very, very happy.”
Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winners. The 5th seed will be hard to come by with Miami, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Orlando a solid top 5 but there is no reason to doubt the Sixers at this point in the season. I predict at the worst the Sixers will be the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference come playoff time. This team is gaining momentum everyday and with a win over San Antonio tonight things will only get better.
Lou Williams spoke on the win postgame, “It shows that we are playing great basketball, with a lot of confidence.”
The Sixers continue their surge as they travel to Minnesota on Saturday to take on the T-Wolves at 8:00.