Sixers win third straight on road

Michael Carter-Williams shoots over the Kings' Isaiah Thomas (left) and Rudy Gay.
Michael Carter-Williams shoots over the Kings' Isaiah Thomas (left) and Rudy Gay. (STEVE YEATER / Associated Press)
Posted: January 04, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Until Sunday, the 76ers couldn't find a way to win away from the Wells Fargo Center. Suddenly, they are unbeatable on the road.

The Sixers posted their third straight road win by defeating Sacramento, 113-104, Thursday night at Sleep Train Arena. They are now 4-13 on the road.

Power forward Thaddeus Young led the Sixers (11-21) with 28 points, seven rebounds, a career-high six steals, and four assists. Swingman Evan Turner added 24 points, while reserve point guard Tony Wroten finished with 21.

Spencer Hawes had 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 3 minutes, 15 seconds left.

DeMarcus Cousins finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds for Sacramento. He went 13 for 19 from the foul line for the Kings (10-21).

This game was a homecoming of sorts for Hawes.

The 7-foot-1, 245-pounder was the Kings' 10th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft after his freshman season at Washington. After three seasons, he and Andres Nocioni were traded to the Sixers for center Samuel Dalembert on June 17, 2010.

These days, the Seattle native is far from a fan favorite to Kings' fans.

He was heavily booed and taunted for the second straight game the Sixers played in Sacramento. It all stemmed from his comments last season regarding the Kings' expected move to Seattle.

"I won't make any qualms about where I stand," Hawes told the Sacramento Bee at the time. "I want to see my hometown get a franchise. There is confliction, but I'm not going to beat around the bush about what my stance is."

The team has since been sold and remains in Sacramento. But at the time, the Kings fans showed their disapproval by letting Hawes hear it every time he touched the ball in a March 23 game.

He said it felt like being in a high school game.

"Coming out, everybody is booing you, it was kind of fun," Hawes said before Thursday's game.

The 25-year-old wondered if the fans would boo him again. And they did just that.

The crowd booed Hawes whenever he entered the game and touched the ball. The boos were louder when he made a good play.

But to his credit, Hawes blocked out the crowd just like did a year ago when he scored 14 points in the Sixers' 117-103 victory.

While Hawes didn't have a career performance, he did the little things and hustled. He also showed some heart in the second quarter by coming to Evan Turner's defense.

Turner had shoved DeMarcus Cousins with 7 minutes, 21 seconds before intermission. Hawes walked to the Kings' intimidating 6-foot-11, 270-pounder to prevent him from messing with his teammate.

But for the most part, Hawes and his teammates had their hand full with Cousins from the start. The Kentucky product scored 22 of his points in the first half on 7-for-11 shooting. He also made 8 of 11 foul shots and had seven of his rebounds before intermission.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Cousins is a highly skilled big man and playing against him means fronting him in order to negate his mobility.

The Sixers didn't have a lot of success stopping the big man. However, they were still able to take a 61-51 halftime cushion thanks to shooting 50 percent from the field.

New identity. The 76ers have established an identity. Win or lose, they are known for playing with energy, getting up and down the floor and going to the rim.

"To come in and have the responsibility to try to build a culture and create a system and coach new guys and bring new guys in as a team, I'm proud of where we are," first-year coach Brett Brown said.

In the new year, the Sixers are winning, as well. On Wednesday night, they posted a 114-102 victory over Denver at the Pepsi Center.

The Sixers have only six players from last season's squad. Two of them - Arnett Moultrie (ankle) and Jason Richardson (knee) - have yet to play because of injuries. Rookie free-agent forward Brandon Davies signed right before the start of the season. Free-agent guard Elliot Williams and rookie guard Lorenzo Brown, who is playing for the Delaware 87ers, were acquired by the Sixers on Nov. 20.

"Just being thrown together for the last 31/2 months, and to lead the NBA in pace [at 105.5 possessions per game] . . . we said [that was a goal] from day one," Brown said. "And we've done that."


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