The Philadelphia 76ers were set up for a bounce back win on Monday. They were taking on a previously 6-17 Houston Rockets team on the road and they were welcoming James Harden back to the lineup after he missed 14 games due to a right foot tendon strain.
Instead, the Sixers committed mistake after mistake and it led to a 132-123 double overtime loss to the Rockets. Harden had 21 points on 4-for-19 shooting with seven assists and seven turnovers and Philadelphia committed 34 fouls compared to Houston’s 27. It was just an overall very bad night for the Sixers on a night where they shouldn’t have lost.
After it was over, coach Doc Rivers tried explaining the loss as he told reporters while releasing some frustration:
Rivers on the loss
“Too many opportunities. We had way too many opportunities. We didn’t execute down the stretch on either end. Just really a disappointing loss.”
Rivers on the fouling
“We fouled the entire game. Just bad undisciplined fouls. I don’t know how many times we fouled a 3-point shooter. I don’t know how many times you can foul a 3-point shooter in a game. Whatever it was, we did that. They looked us in the eye and us off the dribble the entire night. We were late to helps and, number one, we just got to stop getting beat the entire game.”
On the defense
“Defensively, I thought we were not at our best tonight (Monday). Clearly. I mean, how many more offensive rebounds, back cuts, we gave up tonight? That hurt us and then down the stretch offensively, I just didn’t think we made the right plays.”
On losing Joel Embiid to foul trouble in overtime
“Just tough, but we still had our chances. That’s gonna happen. The first quarter, what, every player in our starting lineup was in foul trouble, but one? So that killed our rotations, to begin with, but then when you lose him down the stretch? I mean, clearly, he was the guy that had it going and we didn’t have that option anymore.”