Duncan sits, but Spurs still outclass Sixers

Waiting to punch out: Sixers (from left) Spencer Hawes, James Anderson, Michael Carter-Williams, and Evan Turner after Brett Brown emptied the bench.    CHARLES FOX / Staff
Waiting to punch out: Sixers (from left) Spencer Hawes, James Anderson, Michael Carter-Williams, and Evan Turner after Brett Brown emptied the bench.    CHARLES FOX / Staff
Posted: November 13, 2013

In the end, the clash between Brett Brown and his former team didn't matter. All that matters is that the 76ers have lost four of their last five games.

Never mind that the San Antonio Spurs are the gold standard in the NBA. This game proved that, despite their hot start, the Sixers are a ways from being an elite team.

Playing without all-star Tim Duncan, who was resting, the Spurs coasted to a 109-85 victory Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Spurs improved to 7-1 and extended their winning streak to five games. The Sixers dropped to 4-4 heading into Wednesday's home game against the Houston Rockets.

Things were so bad that San Antonio had nearly as many assists (29) as the Sixers had field goals (34). The Spurs shot 49.4 percent, made 13 three-pointers, and had six double-digit scorers.

"That's the Spurs, and that's what we aspire to get to," said Brown, who spent the last 11 seasons as a San Antonio assistant. "What you saw was the extremes of a team that has been together and [moves] the ball and [shares] the ball and played freely versus the team that became static and stagnant and tried to do it individually."

The Sixers had no rhythm to what they were trying to do offensively. Brown said that carried over to other facets of the game. The biggest one was players' holding onto the ball too much, denying opportunities for teammates.

"That's deflating," Brown said. "And you go back to the other end, and you have to chase them around. You know it's Ping-Pong. They are finding people. They make the right pass and they can shoot."

Shooting guard Danny Green made 5 of 7 three-pointers to lead the Spurs with 18 points. Point guard Tony Parker finished with 14 points, a game-high nine assists, and three rebounds. Forward Kawhi Leonard added 13 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Reserve guards Marco Belinelli (12) and Patty Mills (10 points, four steals) and starting center Tiago Splitter (11) were the Spurs' other double-digit scorers.

Evan Turner had another big game for the Sixers.

The 6-foot-7 swingman finished with a game-high 20 points on 9-for-21 shooting. Center Spencer Hawes added 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. Reserve guard Tony Wroten scored 13 points. Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams had eight points, four assists, three blocked shots, and two turnovers.

Thaddeus Young was one of the Sixers who didn't get a lot of touches. He finished with seven points on 3-for-7 shooting two nights after scoring 29 points.

It didn't take long to realize the Sixers were in for a rough night.

The Spurs led by 31-13 after quarter and held a commanding 29-point cushion (75-46) with 5 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

"They are the model," Hawes said. "You take away one thing, they have another way to beat you. They have such good chemistry with one another.

"Even without Timmy in there, they slide another guy in and the machine keeps running."




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