December 8 Philadelphia Daily News:
“THE CARROT was dangled by the coach, and the 76ers ran after it as if ending a hunger strike.
Coach Doug Collins told his players before last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that if they won, he would give them today off.
Their performance showed just how much an off day can mean during a season that spans more than 6 months. The Sixers put together their most complete game of the season in handling the Cavs, 117-97.
Basketball is a pretty easy game when you share the ball, make the right plays on the fastbreak, hit open jump shots and rebound.
The Sixers did all those things so well last night that they didn’t get hurt by a subpar defensive effort in dealing Cleveland its fifth straight loss.
In winning for the fourth time in five games and fifth straight at home, the Sixers had 22 assists (compared with seven turnovers), scored 24 points on the break, shot 51.9 percent (42-for-81) from the floor and outrebounded the Cavs, 44-29, in improving to 7-14.
“I wasn’t sure how we were going to match up with Cleveland, I was really worried about this game,” said Collins, whose club already lost twice to the Cavaliers this season. “I told the guys that if they didn’t want to see me [today], then win and we’ll give you off. My face does wonderful things to people sometimes.”
The team was again spurred by the shooting of guard Jodie Meeks, who scored 16 points (10 in the first), including four three-pointers, in his third straight start. Thad Young led the team with 26 points and corralled 11 rebounds (both season highs), while missing only one of his 12 shots, and center Spencer Hawes posted his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Lou Williams poured in 19 points off the bench, Jrue Holiday had 16 points and seven assists, Andre Iguodala collected 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Elton Brand had 12 points.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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