The Philadelphia 76ers have played three overtimes in the past two games.
After capping a three-game road trip with a frustrating 132-123 double-overtime loss in Houston, the Sixers blew a nine-point lead in the final 30 seconds Friday before recovering for a 133-122 homecourt victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
There was an eerily similar theme in both games — costly turnovers down the stretch.
The Sixers will try to settle down their late-game exploits Sunday when they host the Charlotte Hornets.
Before overcoming the Lakers in overtime, the Sixers committed three costly miscues and blew a nine-point lead in the final 29 seconds of regulation.
“We will take the win, and one thing that I will say is that usually when you give up a lead like that, to gather yourself and play well in overtime is rare,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said. “I told our guys that we were very proud of that. Just the mistakes we made down the stretch, very similar to the Houston game, we have to fix that.”
Of course, there were bright spots against the Lakers, as Joel Embiid had 38 points and 12 rebounds and De’Anthony Melton hit eight 3-pointers while compiling a career-best 33 points and seven steals.
James Harden had 28 points and 12 assists.
Even with all those eye-popping statistics, the Sixers still had to withstand a furious rally.
“There weren’t too many adjustments,” Melton said of overtime. “We understand how we ended the fourth. It wasn’t good. We should have pulled this out a couple minutes ago. We just wanted to go into overtime applying pressure and understanding that whoever gets more stops is going to win. I feel like in (overtime) we just locked in, stuck to the gameplan, and kept defending.”
The Hornets, meantime, will try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss Sunday.
Charlotte was defeated handily by the New York Knicks on Friday, 121-102.
Terry Rozier led the short-handed Hornets with 24 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 22. It was the fifth consecutive game that Rozier and Oubre Jr. have each scored 20 or more.
The Hornets struggled offensively without several key players including LaMelo Ball (ankle), Gordon Hayward (shoulder), Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle), Cody Martin (knee) and Mark Williams (ankle).
“Our effort was really good again,” Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said. “We have very little room for error. When we don’t play really at a high level for our group every single night, it’s hard to be competitive. We’re just going to have some nights like this until we get guys back. We played two really, really good games the last two for the guys we’re putting out there.
“For the older guys, I think those minutes are catching up, the younger guys, I think, have hit the wall, too. That wasn’t effort-based tonight,” Clifford added.
The Hornets were pounded on the boards and allowed 16 offensive rebounds. It wasn’t the only reason for the loss, but a rather large cause.
“We’ve got to find a way to get more rebounds,” Clifford said.
–Field Level Media