The Philadelphia 76ers have followed up an 8-game winning streak with a 2-game skid now following a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. They played well offensively shooting 56%, but their defense let them down and they turned the ball over too many times.
They allowed Pelicans guard CJ McCollum to have a huge night as he had 42 points while drilling a career-high and New Orleans franchise record 11 triples. The Sixers could not keep track of him all throughout the night and it really cost them in the loss.
“Listen, McCollum was great tonight,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “He got a lot of those in transition.”
McCollum and the Pelicans scored 30 points off 19 Philadelphia turnovers and despite another monster performance from Joel Embiid, the Pels were able to come away with the win.
“We gave up 30 points off of 19 turnovers,” Rivers continued. “We gave up another 14 points off of offensive rebounds. That’s 44 points before you even start the game. That’s like spotting the team 44 points and then saying ‘Now, let’s play’. You’re not gonna win that game. I thought early on, we guarded him well, and he got going.”
Philadelphia did start the game well as they built a 10-point lead in the first quarter, but New Orleans stormed back and they actually led by 17 in the first half. The Pelicans then led throughout the second half and the Sixers never seriously challenged. They just made too many mistakes and it cost them in the end.
“I thought we started the game out well,” Rivers finished. “We got a good lead, and then the second group struggled a little bit for us, I thought that was the turning point of the game. Then, I really thought just the turnovers, we never could get a rhythm, and they were throughout the game. It would be great if it was one stretch. It just never stopped.”
The Sixers will look to finish the road trip on a high note when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
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