Late Surge Gives The Sixers The Win In Game 3

May 6th, 2012 by Sam Shipley | Filed under Basketball, General, Sixers.

Sixers Win!

Game 3 had a “must win” feel to it for the Sixers. They were just coming off a big win against Chicago in game 2, and didn’t want to give any life right back to the Bulls. The night was started with Dr. J giving the game ball to the officials at half-court which brought the crowd of 20,000+ to their feet.

The game had a very slow start to it, due to a lot of fouls, missed shots, and bad passing. Both teams seemed to come out flat, especially the Sixers. Neither team was able to have any consistency on offense, and that resulted into just a 19-17 Bulls lead after one. Like I said there was a lot of fouls called, the Sixers were in the penalty halfway through the 1st quarter and Jrue Holiday was actually limited to little playing time in the 1st half due to 3 early fouls.

The 2nd quarter was a repeat of the 1st quarter and at the half the Sixers held a 1 point lead which I was happy about because of how bad they played. Coming out of the half, they led 40-39 and you had the feeling this was going to be one of those grind out games that was going to come down to the final minutes. Then the 3rd quarter started and those feelings began to vanish. The Bulls came out and just completely dominated the Sixers and outscored them 21-11, just one game after the Sixers outscored the Bulls 36-14 in game 2. After 3 the Sixers trailed 60-51. There was a scary moment in this one though as Joakim Noah severely rolled his ankle on a fast break halfway through the 3rd quarter and was able to just play for a few minutes after. His status for the rest of the series remains in question.

The beginning of quarter was no different, as a Rip Hamilton 3 pointer put the Bulls up 14 at one point, and with just under 10 minutes to go the Sixers faced a 69-56 deficit. However, this crowd would not give up on this team. They were loud all night long and I believe helped surge what would be one of the most propelling comebacks I have seen by the Sixers in quite sometime. After a Spencer Hawes bucket the Sixers cut the lead to 69-64 halfway through the 4th, and the crowd was going insane as you felt the momentum beginning to shift over to the Sixers. The inspirational videos started to come on, including Rocky’s famous scene when Adrian says “win” which put the crowd into a bigger frenzy.

Hawes once again, who came up huge in the 4th, hit a 20 footer to put the Sixers up 72-71 with just minutes to play. Evan Turner made key plays down the stretch getting fouled, and grabbing some amazing offensive rebounds. His two free throws put the Sixers up 74-71 with 1:24 to play. After Jrue Holiday went 1-2 from the line, Rip Hamilton came back with a 3 pointer to cut the lead to 75-74 with 40 seconds left. Then, according to Doug Collins, Evan Turner made the “play of the year for the Sixers”. He battled down low and grabbed 3 straight offensive rebounds against 3 Bulls defenders to finally get fouled and went to the line to bury 2 free throws as the Sixers held a 77-74 lead with 20 seconds to go. Carlos Boozer missed a wide open 15 footer badly and Jrue Holiday sank 2 more free throws to seal the win which capped off an incredible 23-5 run.

Spencer Hawes, Jrue Holiday, and Evan Turner came up huge in the 4th quarter to give the Sixers a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Bulls. Spencers 10 points in the 4th quarter gave him 21 in the game to go along with 9 rebounds. Holiday finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists after playing limited minutes in the 1st half, and Evan Turner once again came up huge by dropping 16 points and grabbing key rebounds to give him 9 total.

You don’t usually see a performance like this from the playoff’s youngest team, but then again find me a team who plays with as much heart as the Sixers do. As long as Doug Collins is the coach of this team, they will never give up because he won’t allow them to and that showed tonight. This team showed me a lot tonight, they showed me that they can win a grind out game in the playoffs, they showed me that they can fight back to win in a big time game, and they proved to everyone once again that they are all heart.

The Sixers could to take a stranglehold on the series on Sunday, as they have a chance to go up 3-1 and could be on their way to pulling off one of the most propelling upsets in NBA history. They could possibly face the rival Boston Celtics in the next round and that would bring back many playoff memories as these two teams had wars in the playoffs. However, they still need to get out of this series first and like I have said all along the Bulls just aren’t going to roll over and give up. They will continue to fight like they did last night, and the Sixers will need to continue to give everything they have to win. So will we see the Sixers pull off a stunning upset and shock the basketball world? Or will we see the same old first round elimination we are all used to? We are going to have to wait and see, but all I know is this is going to be a awesome finish.

Game 4 is Sunday at 1 p.m.

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