By George Remaily
The Sixers did not play their best game of the season but their defense was the difference in the game. The Sixers on Monday night were playing in the middle of a three game stretch against the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers in front of a crowd of 16,299 at the Wells Fargo Center defeated the Orlando Magic, 74-69 and showed the fans and the media that they are to be taken for real as a team.
The Sixers did not have one of their better nights on the offensive side of the ball but they did play excellent defense on the night. In fact the Sixers point total on Monday night was their lowest they have point up all season. Even so the team still found a way to win the game and if you are a good team you do find a way to win a game when you are not playing your best game. The Sixers field goal percentage on the night was 37.5 percent. They shot 30 for 80 not a great percentage by any means. The Sixers moved their record to 15-6 on the season, which leads the Atlantic Division.
The Sixers won their third straight game and they ended a six-game losing streak to the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers are now 4-1 on their current seven game home stand and have two more games left on this home stand. The next two games are against the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, the top two teams right now in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers in the first half Monday night scored 37 points and led the Magic by four points. In the third quarter the defense stifled the Magic holding them to just nine points. That was the fewest points any team has scored against the Sixers in any quarter all season long and the Sixers lead at the end of the third quarter 68-49.
The Sixers Andre Iguodala finished the game with 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Tony Battie had eight points and nine rebounds, and Elton Brand had eight points and seven rebounds. The Orlando Magic were led by center Dwight Howard who had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Ryan Anderson finished with 14points and had 20 rebounds.
The Sixers shut it down late in the game and almost let garbage time become a game as their lead slipped away. The Sixers had a 68-49 lead with 5 minutes, 23 seconds left in the game. Orlando got the deficit down to six points with 19 seconds left in the game, 72-66. The Sixers held on and got the win but head coach Doug Collins was in no way happy with the way the Sixers finished the game.
The Sixers are happy with the win but playing like they did at the end of the game will not cut it against the likes of Chicago and Miami. The Sixers were missing free throws and not executing on the defensive end. It was your typical team just coasting and shutting it down and the Sixers cannot do that. Now we will find out where the Sixers stand against the Bulls and Heat. Are the Sixers for real? Well we will certainly find out where this current Sixers team stands.