Philadelphia 76ers coach angry about effort
by Jason Wolf, USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA — Losses to the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat on Saturday and the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks on Sunday are one thing.
But there’s little excuse for the Philadelphia 76ers 98-84 loss at home to the woeful Orlando Magic, before an alleged crowd of 18,432 at the Wells Fargo Center.
“I sure didn’t see this effort coming,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “… This is mind numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn’t even tell you what occurred.”
It was Philadelphia’s season-worst sixth consecutive loss. The Sixers (22-33) also dropped to a season-worst 11 games under .500 with 27 to play, and became the first Atlantic Division team to lose to the Magic (16-41) this season. Orlando had lost 17 of their past 18 games, including five straight, and had been 0-14 against the division.
On a night when injured superstar center Andrew Bynum arrived late to the arena, according to a team spokesperson, other Sixers similarly failed to assert any presence.
Deep reserve Damien Wilkins and recently signed backup guard Jeremy Pargo led the team with 14 points apiece.
“It was just quiet,” Thad Young said about the demeanor in the Sixers locker room after the game. “We have a few guys who speak out and say different things. But after tonight’s loss, nobody really had anything to say.”
The Sixers led by as many as nine points until the Magic used a 14-2 run to take a 47-42 lead at halftime.
Orlando built a 16-point lead, at 58-42, before the Sixers scored their first points of the second half with 8½ minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Magic used a 19-3 run to start the fourth quarter while pushing their advantage to as large as 21 points.
“Sometimes you just have to keep your head up and be one of the only few to try to stay positive,” Evan Turner said.
Jrue Holiday finished with nine points and 10 assists for the Sixers. Young had eight points and 10 rebounds and Turner added 10 points and eight boards.
“I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break … [For more on Philadelphia 76ers coach angry about effort, click here.]