February 10 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“YOU WON’T CATCH many of the 76ers players humming the song “Inside and Out” after last night’s game against the Orlando Magic.
The reasoning is partly due to the fact that many of the players weren’t even born when the Phil Collins hit came out, and partly because it is what killed them against the Magic – the inside-out game.
As they had done the previous two games vs. the Magic, the Sixers hacked at Orlando’s monstrous center Dwight Howard, sending him to the line 19 times. Problem was he made 14 of those. The other problem was when the Sixers paid extra attention to Howard, Orlando did a magnificent job of moving the ball on the perimeter and wound up hitting 10 three-pointers, which helped it pull out a 99-95 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
“That was a tough team to defend,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins, whose team dropped to 24-28. “Howard getting that ball inside and they collapse and then have all those three-point shooters. You can do a great job on them, they could be 7-for-23 and then they’ll hit four in a row on you. You can be up eight or nine on this team and it’s a three possession game.
“Howard was the big difference. He stepped to the line and hit his free throws.”
Howard, who finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds, sat for only 4 minutes and 20 seconds the whole night, all of it coming in the second quarter. When he left the game then, the Sixers held a five-point lead and seemed primed to expand on that while Howard caught his wind.
But they couldn’t. In fact, with the help of three-pointers by Jason Richardson, J.J. Redick and Richardson again, the Magic forged ahead by 40-38 when Superman re-entered.
Lou Williams led the Sixers with 23 points, 18 of them coming in the fourth quarter. Andre Iguodala scored 21 and dealt eight assists, but also turned the ball over five times. Jodie Meeks added 17 points and eight rebounds.
Redick backed Howard with 13 points, and the Magic (34-20) got 12 points from Ryan Anderson, Richardson and Jameer Nelson.
“They’re tough. No matter who you’re playing, you always want to take away the interior first and make them make shots,” said Spencer Hawes, who finished with 10 rebounds. “But that’s what they’re tailor-made to do, that’s how their roster is put together. You pick your poison and sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t.””
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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