The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Orlando Magic yet again on March 10. With that in mind, expecting the Sixers to beat the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets on March 11 was a tall order. However, the Sixers managed to be more confounding than ever in upsetting the Nets anyway.
The Sixers’ 106-97 victory made little sense, given that they were a last place team playing a Nets club fighting for a division title. However, Philadelphia played the kind of game it hasn’t played since the 2013 calendar year started, as all five starters scored in double figures and helped the team shoot over 52 percent from the floor.
Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young each had double-doubles, with Hawes re-emerging for 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Although Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez carried the Nets like usual, they had 66 of Brooklyn’s 97 points, which was too unbalanced to work.
After two terrible second halves last weekend in the state of Florida, the Sixers actually got stronger as this game went along and never trailed after halftime. For a team that has gone 6-23 since Jan. 1, Philadelphia looked like it was contending for the Atlantic Division lead instead of Brooklyn.
This was how it was supposed to be months ago, until Andrew Bynum’s injuries piled up and the Sixers forgot to win after the new year. Instead, solid performances like this one have been completely out of character for Philadelphia this season.
No one expected this kind of win from the Sixers against anyone, let alone one of the top four teams in the East. Of course, if Philadelphia did something like this against the Miami Heat on March 13, then it would really raise some eyebrows.
As it stands, the Sixers are a puzzling team that can never win on the road, can lose twice in two weeks to the bottom-feeding Magic, yet can still pull a win like this out of nowhere. It is quite illogical, although logic hasn't been Philadelphia’s strong suit since the season started.