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Narrowly Beating the Pistons at Home Way Beats Getting Killed By the Pistons at Home

Dec 10, 2012, 10:13 PM EDT

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It’s the story of the Sixers season—lose big, win small. Two days after
getting blown out in Boston by the Celtics—a 13-point loss that wasn’t
really nearly that close—the Sixers just squeaked out a victory over the
Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center tonight, taking the game 104-97. Now,
beating one of the worst teams in the East at home by single digits
shouldn’t normally be huge cause for celebration, but considering that
Pistons thumped the Sixers by 18 in their alst visit to Philly, and
considering this win allows the Sixers to hover comfortably over .500
(12-9), we’ll take it.

Of course, it helps when your wins are
keyed by excellent performances from your three best players. After a
three-game stretch of poor shooting, Jrue Holiday become one again with
the basketball universe tonight, scoring 25 points on 11-20 shooting
(though the three-ball remains elusive, with Jrue shooting 1-4 from
beyond), and adding eight dimes and five boards to go along with it.
That’s actually one more rebound than ol’ reliable Thaddeus Young
managed tonight, getting absolutely hammered by Jason Maxiell on the
boards, but he did score an impressive 20 points on 9-13 shooting, and
somehow managed to come up with five steals as well. Considering how
badly the Sixers got shredded inside on their first game against
Detroit, you’ll take that production from Thad tonight.

But as
has often been the case lately, the game ball goes to Evan Turner. The
Extraterrestrial put together one of his best all-around stat lines
tonight, with 18 points on 8-13 shooting with 11 boards (including two
Malik-sanctioned Man’s Rebounds in the game’s waning minutes), seven
assists, and just one turnover. The defense wasn’t great (though he
certainly got no help from his big men) and he was often abused by
Tayshaun Prince in the post, but Evan’s offensive production has been
too good for too long now to be considered fluky. This is ET’s 13th
straight game scoring double-digit points—his previous-best streak was
just five games. We’ve got ourselves a legit NBA starter on our hands
with ET, and someone who might have a better chance of making a future
All-Star team than we ever would have thought a year ago.

Of
course, focusing only on the good tonight would give this team’s
performance far too much credit. The Pistons shot under 40% for the
game, yet seemed in control throughout, getting to the free-throw line
just about whenever they wanted (28-33 for the game), and getting nearly
all the shots they did make through easy layups. The Sixers’ guards
couldn’t stay in front of the Pistons, and the Sixers’ front lines were
just about powerless to help. You can pretend Spencer Hawes had a good
game with his 15 points and eight rebounds, but his scoring was
inefficient (15 points on 7-14 shooting) and his defense was just
miserable, as he had about as much a chance of keeping Greg Monroe from
doing damage in the post as he did of waking up this morning to find out
the election was just a bad dream ant that the GOP was still in good
shape for 2012.

Still, good to get this one. Sixers face the
Bulls next at home, before traveling to Indiana for the first in a
stretch 12 road games out of 15, including that much-feared eight-game
roadie at the end of the calendar year, nearly all of which come against
good teams. As we’ve been saying since the season started, gotta get
those wins now, since winter is coming in a big way for this team. May
Evan, Jrue and Thad continue to lead the way.