Sixers win in Denver for 2nd in a row

ASSOCIATED PRESS Nuggets' Randy Foye launches a shot over Thaddeus Young.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Nuggets' Randy Foye launches a shot over Thaddeus Young.
Posted: January 03, 2014

DENVER - Things were certainly out of whack last night at the Pepsi Center.

In the first 15 minutes of play between the 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, there was a total of 22 fouls called. For two teams who like to play at a quicker pace, the refs had them playing in mud early on.

The Sixers, usually horrendous at covering the three-point shot, limited the Nuggets to just one make in their first eight attempts. Meanwhile, the Sixers drained half of their first 14.

Both teams had been struggling recently to score, a big reason why Denver had lost seven in a row. But the Sixers scored a season-high 68 points in the first half, also yielding 56.

Strange happenings, indeed. (Insert Colorado marijuana legalization joke here).

The Sixers slogged their way through the foulfest a lot better than the struggling Nuggets and won, 114-102. They won their second straight game for the first time since beginning the season 3-0. The Sixers are 10-21 while the Nuggets dropped to 14-17.

"As it was happening,'' Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the outbreak of fouls, "I almost viewed it as timeouts. With the altitude, that was a good start.''

Whether strange or textbook, there is no preference for the Sixers in earning a win, and doing so on the road in consecutive games after a 13-game losing streak away from home is particularly enjoyable. They beat the Lakers, 111-104, on Sunday.

"It's a young group that is impressionable - in this case it's a good thing," Brown said. "I think we've spent so much time trying to get better defensively. We have to continue running, we're proud of our pace, we think that has to be how we play offense, but we need to continue to pay attention to every inch and every detail of defense. That's what our mindset has been and we saw a carryover in the Laker game."

In that game, the Sixers limited the Lakers to eight fastbreak points and had a 52-28 advantage on points in the paint. Last night was much the same, as the Sixers got 52 points in the lane and allowed the Nuggets just five points off the break.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Sixers, led by Evan Turner's 23. Thaddeus Young had 17 while Michael Carter-Williams collected 16 points and nine rebounds. Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen each had 13, James Anderson 12 and Hollis Thompson 11.

"We are all trying to get better and we are all trying to grow as a team," said Young, who averaged 27.5 points in his previous four games. "We're a first-year team [together], a first-year coaching staff, a new front office. So we're all just trying to get out on the court and just play as hard as we can and just go out there and find ways to will ourselves to victories. That's what I'm all about, just going out there and trying to win basketball games. We have to go out there and just keep continuing to hoop."

Things certainly are spiraling downward for the Nuggets. Not only did they lose their eighth consecutive game but veteran Andre Miller, who didn't see action, had to be restrained during a confrontation on the bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter. Coach Brian Shaw appeared to be involved in the shouting match.

The Sixers will play in Sacramento tonight, then finish the six-game road trip in Portland on Saturday . . . After Portland, the Sixers will play five of their next six games at the Wells Fargo Center . . . Though he went through his first full practice on Tuesday, forward Arnett Moultrie (ankle surgery) was in street clothes on the Sixers' bench. "I don't know when I'm going to start dressing. It's still up in the air," he said.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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