Sixers stun Rockets in overtime

76ers guard James Anderson , who had 36 points, hits a three-pointer over the Rockets' Jeremy Lin to force OT. YONG KIM / Staff
76ers guard James Anderson , who had 36 points, hits a three-pointer over the Rockets' Jeremy Lin to force OT. YONG KIM / Staff
Posted: November 15, 2013

The 76ers just won't go away.

After Monday's humbling setback to the San Antonio Spurs, many expected them to play like a team that had been picked to finish last in the NBA.

Not quite.

Thanks to career nights from James Anderson and Tony Wroten, the Sixers pulled off another shocker Wednesday night. This time, they posted a 123-117 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets at the Wells Fargo Center.

"By and large, I think [the win] says the group has resolve," said Sixers coach Brett Brown, whose 5-4 team snapped a two-game skid. "The group does have a fighting spirit that I think is just admirable on their part."

Some critics will point out that the Rockets (5-4) played without all-star shooting guard James Harden (bruised left foot).

Although he might have made a difference, Anderson and Wroten were this game's biggest difference makers. Anderson might have had some added motivation.

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard scored a career-high 36 points against the team that waived in him in July. It was the most points by a Sixer since Willie Green had 37 points against the Toronto Raptors on April 18, 2007.

Anderson made 6 of 8 three-pointers Wednesday after making just 9 of 27 during the Sixers' first eight games.

"I was more of a shooter in college [at Oklahoma State] and changed it around when I got here," Anderson said. "I was inconsistent shooting threes with guys running me off. I had to change and adjust. It just happened."

Wroten also had to adjust his game.

Usually the sixth man, he started at point guard in place of Michael Carter-Williams, who missed the game with a bruised left foot.

Wroten responded with 18 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to put him in the record books: He became the first player in NBA history to post a triple-double in his first start.

"James Anderson and Tony played exactly like we thought," Brown said with a laugh.

The two players teamed up on the play that forced overtime.

With the Sixers trailing, 106-103, Wroten drove underneath the basket and leaped to throw a high pass to Anderson. After coming down with the ball, Anderson launched a three-pointer that knotted the score with 6.9 seconds left.

"Tony already had told me he was going to look for me and I was kind of in the wrong spot," Anderson said. "But somehow he still found me and I was fortunate enough to get a shot off and fortunate it went in."

Spencer Hawes had a putback dunk to give the Sixers a 115-114 advantage with 34 seconds remaining in overtime. The Sixers went on to build a five-point cushion before Jeremy Lin's three-pointer closed the gap to 119-117 with eight seconds left.

But Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner (23 points) went on to sink four foul shots to secure the victory.

Lin made nine three-pointers to lead the Rockets with a season-high 34 points. Dwight Howard added 23 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 blocked shots, and 2 steals.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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