December 16 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“When he was told that the 76ers had committed just five turnovers in Wednesday night’s 105-91 win over the Los Angles Clippers, Jrue Holiday was almost speechless.
“That’s all we had were five turnovers?” said Holiday, who had a team-high 24 points along with five assists and one turnover in the win at the Wells Fargo Center. “With five turnovers, you can’t lose that many times.”
The Sixers tied an arena record, and they could have easily broken it. They committed two of the miscues with less than 33 seconds left, including the final one when they decided to purposely take a shot-clock violation with 3.9 seconds remaining.
Even against a struggling opponent like the 5-21 Clippers, who are 0-11 on the road, it was still an impressive performance. The Sixers (10-15) have won three in a row and five of six.
The Sixers made a key second-half defensive adjustment, but it was their ability to take care of the ball that stood out the most.
“When we don’t turn the ball over, it’s less transition points for the other team to score off turnovers,” Holiday said.
The Clippers, who are athletic and like to run, had just eight fastbreak points, compared with 21 for the Sixers.
Holiday scored all 24 points in the first three quarters. Andre Iguodala added 20 points. After scoring just four points on three shots in the first half, he hit all seven shots from the field after the break.
Sixers coach Doug Collins didn’t like what he saw of the stat sheet in the first half.
“I said [at the half], I have to get [Iguodala] involved in the game,” Collins said.
Iguodala, whose Achilles tendon is still not 100 percent, said he was inadvertently kicked by Blake Griffin in the second half.
“I’ll get treatment [Thursday] and, hopefully, get rest in time for Friday’s game,” he said.
That would be against the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
The Sixers, coming off Tuesday’s 82-77 win at New Jersey, lacked energy at the start but trailed by only 56-53 at halftime. It could have been closer.
Iguodala sank an off-balance half-court shot to end the half, but it was ruled that it came after time expired.
Then Collins made a defensive adjustment, and the Sixers outscored the Clippers by 34-18 in the third quarter to take command for good.
“We made an adjustment at halftime on our screen-roll defense, which I thought really changed the game,” Collins said.
In the first half, the Sixers were being hurt by Griffin, the 6-foot-10 rookie sensation who had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the first 24 minutes. Griffin ended with 20 points and 18 boards.
“In the first half, we did a decent job of moving the ball and everything,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We can’t let games get away from us.”
Credit the Sixers for taking it away.
Elton Brand had 15 points and six rebounds. Collins praised the performance of center Spencer Hawes, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“I hope fans are starting to recognize, too, how good Spencer Hawes is playing,” Collins said.”
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