In 2018, the Philadelphia 76ers boasted a 20-11 record when they traveled to meet a struggling San Antonio Spurs team but ran into a buzzsaw.
Two seasons ago, the San Antonio Spurs were sitting at 15-15 after 30 games played when the Philadelphia 76ers came to town. The Sixers, meanwhile, had won 20 of 31 games but were struggling mightily on the road. On this night in, those struggles would continue.
Behind a 56.3 percent shooting night, San Antonio coasted to a dominant 123-96 win from the confines of the AT&T Center to push themselves back above .500. The Sixers managed to win only the first quarter in the contest, leading 32-29 after one. From there, it was the Silver and Black all the way.
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Rudy Gay was unstoppable in the December matchup, shooting 10-for-15 from the field and only missing once from inside the 3-point line. At the end of the night, Gay finished with 21 points and six boards in one of his best performances of the season.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with a double-double in 27 minutes, snatching 10 rebounds to go along with his 20 points. DeMar DeRozan also contributed 20 points, seven boards, and six rebounds to pace the starting unit.
Davis Bertans had an ultra-efficient night off the bench, pitching in 16 points and six rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting from deep.
The win against Philadelphia was much-needed to give San Antonio confidence not only going forward but against the 76ers themselves. The victory was the only win the Spurs have had against Philly in their last six matchups.
It also sparked a three-game stretch that was the best San Antonio had all season, as they followed up their 27-point win with a 39-point win in Orlando and a 26-point win against the Timberwolves.
After losing both head-to-heads with Philadelphia last season, the Spurs will have to wait until the second half of this season to look for revenge against Doc Rivers’ squad.