76ers surge in 4th to beat Spurs 106-94
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Philadelphia 76ers finally figured out the fourth quarter.
Lou Williams scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth, fueling a decisive run that lifted the Philadelphia 76ers to a 106-94 victory Friday night over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Sixers were 3-24 this season when they either trailed or were tied after three quarters. The fourth also has been their least productive quarter, averaging 23.4 points and shooting 43.1 percent from the field.
But the Sixers reversed that trend against San Antonio. They opened the fourth quarter down three but outscored the Spurs 33-18, including an 18-3 run.
“That’s the winning quarter,” said Williams, who last season averaged a team-high 5.1 points in the final 12 minutes and this season is averaging 4.3, second on the team.
“We were able to run,” Williams said. “That’s always been the key to our success—being able to get out on the fastbreak.”
The Spurs have lost eight of their last 10 trips to Philadelphia, dating back to the 1999-2000 season.
The Sixers in the fourth quarter shot 55 percent and had four of their eight steals and six of their 11 takeaways.
“It just seemed to be a defensive whirlwind for about four minutes there when Lou and Thaddeus (Young) came in,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. “We got steals, blocks and turnovers, and we rebounded when we really had to.”
“He’s got some problems,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Despite missing 10 straight shots from the field in the second quarter, the Spurs led 52-45 at halftime. Ginobili broke open a tight first half with a personal 8-0 run in the final minutes of the second quarter.
The Sixers seemed poised to get within one midway through the third when the 254-pound Elton Brand(notes) rumbled down the court on a break, shooed away 180-pound guard George Hill(notes), who amusingly tried to bump him off track, and finished the break with a dunk.
“That’s a great teammate,” said Brand, who had 18 points and seven rebounds. “Hopefully it helps me get the next call or something. When you play with that type of emotion, it makes our team better.”
Moments later, Hill hit a 3 to return the Spurs’ lead to seven.
“The Sixers brought their athleticism, their aggressiveness and their pressure in the second half, and we folded,” Popovich said. They made it a fast-break contest in the second half. That was the ball game.”
San Antonio trailed 87-86 when the Sixers scored 13 straight to seal it.
NOTES: Sixers guard Willie Green(notes) missed the game with a slightly separated left shoulder suffered in Tuesday’s loss to Miami. Forward Jason Smith(notes) missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. Jodie Meeks(notes), acquired Wednesday in a trade with Milwaukee, made his Sixers debut late in the fourth quarter. Francisco Elson(notes), the other player the Sixers acquired in the deal, is still recovering from hernia surgery. The Sixers wore their red uniforms to raise awareness of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. The coaches wore red ties.