Carter-Williams carries Sixers to 2-OT win over Magic

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- A game between two sub-.500 teams became a showcase for two of the NBA's best rookie point guards, and so much more.
The Philadelphia 76ers' Michael Carter-Williams, named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month earlier in the day, fashioned a triple-double and had a hand in seven of the eight points his team scored in the second overtime as the Sixers outlasted the Orlando Magic 126-125 Tuesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Carter-Williams, honored by the NBA for the period covering October and November, had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, the second triple-double of his brief career. He also had one on opening night against the Miami Heat.
In the process, he outdueled fellow rookie Victor Oladipo, but only barely. Oladipo finished with a career-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was his first triple-double.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in NBA history two rookies recorded a triple-double in the same game.
Oladipo was the second overall pick in last June's draft out of Indiana. Carter-Williams, a Syracuse product, went 11th. The two matched up in the NCAA Tournament last spring, with the Orange beating the Hoosiers handily.
The guards grew close while working out for NBA teams before the draft.
"It's always fun to compete against a friend," Oladipo said.
Carter-Williams said, "Clearly there's a competitive side to it, but this is a team game. It's not me vs. Oladipo. It's Sixers vs. Orlando. It's definitely a team game, and I just wanted to get the win. And at the end of the day, that's all that matters, regardless of what the stats say."
Oladipo said that while it "felt really good" to get his triple-double, victory was all that mattered to him, too.
"I would like to be on the other end of the stick," he said. "(Carter-Williams) played a great game, and a credit to him for doing it."
Forward Thaddeus Young finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who dropped their three previous meetings to Orlando and 21 of the prior 25. Guard/forward Evan Turner scored 24 points.
Guard/forward Arron Afflalo scored a career-high 43 points for the Magic, who dropped their third game in a row. Forward Glen Davis had 33, also a career high, including the 3-pointer that tied the game with 18.4 seconds left in regulation.
The Magic was without center Nikola Vucevic (ankle sprain) and point guard Jameer Nelson (foot sprain).
Carter-Williams' free throw 41 seconds into the second extra period snapped a 118-118 tie and gave the Sixers the lead for good. He also assisted on a basket by guard/forward James Anderson, dropped in a left-handed layup and set up Young for a layup with 1:01 to play.
Anderson, who finished with 19 points, made a free throw with 1.2 seconds left, giving the Sixers a 126-122 lead. Afflalo sank the last of his five 3-pointers at the buzzer.
"He just tried to somehow take control of the game," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Carter-Williams.
That was especially true after Turner, the team's leading scorer, fouled out 16 seconds into the second OT.
"At that stage of the game, not many plays are run," Brown said. "It's mano-a-mano -- get your best player the ball, and they go. Michael was that for us."
The Magic, down 118-114 and 23.9 seconds left in the first overtime, tied it courtesy of a four-point possession. Oladipo made the first of two foul shots, then missed the second, with the rebound going out of bounds off the Sixers. After a timeout, Turner fouled Afflalo shooting a 3-pointer from the left wing. Afflalo made all three free throws with 12.1 seconds left to tie it once again.
Philadelphia (7-12) led 91-83 with 6:47 left in regulation, but Orlando (6-12) went on a 15-5 run to take a 98-96 lead with 2:46 to play. Afflalo had five points in that stretch, including the go-ahead jumper. Oladipo and Davis chipped in four apiece.
The Sixers surged back ahead as Turner and Carter-Williams combined for six straight points, but Afflalo drilled a 3-pointer with 48.9 seconds left, and Davis answered Young's basket with a 3-pointer of his own to knot it at 104-104.
NOTES: Both teams' point totals were season highs. ... The 3-pointer by Orlando F Glen Davis was his first since April 2012. ... Philadelphia G Michael Carter-Williams is the first Sixer to be named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month since Allen Iverson in April 1997. Carter-Williams has 238 points in his first 14 games, the most by a Sixers rookie since Iverson scored 323 over his first 14 in '96-97. ... Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said the Magic are being cautious with C Nikola Vucevic in the hope that he can return at some point during the four games that remain on the team's road trip. Vucevic rolled his left ankle when he stepped on the foot of a courtside photographer during Monday's loss in Washington. ... Orlando was also without F Tobias Harris (sore left ankle).

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