The Philadelphia 76ers hoped to catch the Los Angeles Clippers napping on Feb. 11. The Clippers had a statement win over the New York Knicks on Feb. 10 and were at the end of their long road trip, so the Sixers could have caught them off guard to end their long home stand. Instead, the Sixers were the ones napping as they suffered a 107-90 loss that wasn’t even that close.
Nick Young was the only Sixer to truly show up, scoring 29 points while no other Philadelphia player had more than 10. In contrast, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford all had over 20 points, with the entire Los Angeles team shooting over 58 percent.
The Clippers had been struggling before this past weekend and were battling injuries, but their big stars are getting healthy again. If the Sixers had played them last week, they might have kept pace, yet they were mere spectators as Los Angeles lobbed dunks and made highlight reel plays all night.
The final score could and should have been much worse, with Los Angeles up by 88-59 after three quarters. But the Clippers mercifully started to lay off in the fourth, as the damage had already been done.
While Los Angeles capped off its road trip on a high note, Philadelphia ended its home stand on a decided low note. The Sixers had gone 5-3 on their home stand, but they mainly beat sub .500 opponents like the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. When it came to facing elite teams, the Sixers beat the New York Knicks, yet lost to the Memphis Grizzles, Indiana Pacers and the Clippers.
Philadelphia will have to beat stronger teams more consistently, if it wants to make a playoff run in the second half of the season. Although the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks both lost on Feb. 11, the Sixers lost a golden chance to gain ground on them.
However, the Sixers will have another shot to gain on the No. 8 seeded Bucks when they visit them on Feb. 13. After this poor performance at the Wells Fargo Center, perhaps getting away from home will do Philadelphia some good.