Second Seeding Game Brings San Antonio

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (39-27) will look to bounce back Monday as they face the San Antonio Spurs (28-36) in their second seeding game on the Orlando campus.

Despite standout performances from Joel Embiid (41 pts, 21 reb, 4 ast) and Tobias Harris (30 pts, 8 reb), in the Sixers’ restart debut Saturday, the group struggled to overcome T.J. Warren’s 53 points, falling to the Indiana Pacers (40-26), 127-121.

The Sixers had a dominant rebounding presence, out-rebounding Indiana, 55-34 (and 20-10 on the offensive glass).

At Sunday’s practice, Brett Brown said limiting turnovers - a difference-maker in Saturday’s loss - will be a top priority in Monday’s matchup.

Brown was encouraged by what he saw from Alec Burks, who  had a strong showing against the Pacers:

“I feel like Alec had a really good seven or eight days at camp. I thought last night, he looked good, he scored.”

Burks had nine points in 12 minutes of play Saturday, hitting three of his four shots. In the team’s scrimmage against Dallas on July 28, Burks led the bench with 15 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

“It’s always on my mind to continue to grow his role, as it relates to lightning in a bottle - somebody that can come in and get buckets quick, especially as it relates to a playoff environment,” Brown said.

Burks feels that if the team can take care of the ball, wins are on deck.

“I think turnovers led to easy baskets [Saturday],” Burks said. “I think if we improve on that, the game will be different.” 

Monday’s contest tips at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Spurs will face the Sixers on the second half of a back-to-back in Orlando, after a narrow 108-106 victory over the Grizzlies Sunday. 

Dejounte Murray led the way for San Antonio Sunday, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Six Spurs finished in double figures.

In their first meeting with the Spurs on Nov. 22 at The Center, the Sixers recorded a 115-104 win. Harris led the way in scoring in that contest, finishing with 26 points, while Embiid added a 21-point, 14-rebound double-double.

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