Unbelievably collapsing after holding earlier a 24-point margin against the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-less Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, 102-101, the Philadelphia 76ers are overwhelmed by how things have turned out differently again when the momentum was already in their hands.
Per ESPN’s Stats & Info, the Sixers’ newest meltdown upon leading by as much as 24 now matches their largest blown lead in the regular season play-by-play era since 1996-1997.
Right at the post game media availability, Philly head coach Doc Rivers was visibly fuming about an inquiry regarding the attribution of coaching to the inexcusable loss.
As such, he offered a response rooted from frustration — and possibly annoyance. Instead, Rivers directed his crew’s defeat on the unwanted errors coming from the bench unit.
“Would you ask Pop (San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) that question? No you wouldn’t,” Rivers answered, via Ky Carlin of USA TODAY Sports. So don’t ask me that question. I’ve earned that.”
Lead man Joel Embiid’s 40-point, 13 rebounds masterpiece came up in a disappointing fashion for the Sixers. Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey combined for 39 points and 12 assists on the losing effort.
Without having a star of their own upon the long absence of Leonard and George, the Clippers relied on a balanced offensive attack of their supporting cast, as seven players grabbed a double-digit scoring. Reggie Jackson led the way with 19 points and 9 assists, while Nic Batum had a stellar night with 15 markers and 7 boards upon playing a huge role on the come from behind dub.
The Sixers (26-19) came up short to catch the fifth seed of the East against the Cleveland Cavaliers (27-19) upon the recent bitter ending. On the other hand, the Clippers are on a firm grasp of the eight spot in the West with a 23-24 card.