Sixers acknowledge they have work to do on defense after win over Spurs

The Philadelphia 76ers remained red hot as they knocked off the San Antonio Spurs 137-125 on Friday to begin a three-game road trip. The Sixers put on another good offensive performance as they received 33 points and 11 rebounds from Joel Embiid, 25 from Tyrese Maxey, and 16 and eight assists from James Harden.

On the other end of the floor, the Spurs were getting whatever they wanted on the offensive end. They shot 58.4% for the game compared to 52.9% for Philadelphia and they scored 17 points off 11 Sixers turnovers.

San Antonio coughed the ball up 18 times on its end and they shot only 7-for-21 from deep which allowed the Sixers to get out and run. Overall, though, the defense really needs to be better for the future.

“Defensively, they shot 58%,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the win. “It’s the second game now. I think we won a game where a team shot 64%. Tonight (Friday), they shot 58%, so we have some work to do.”

The Sixers have some capable defenders on their roster. De’Anthony Melton and Matisse Thybulle are elite defenders and Tobias Harris has taken big steps forward on that end of the floor, but they haven’t been able to put it together as a whole recently.

They have had inconsistent efforts. In the first half of a Jan. 28 win over the Denver Nuggets, they couldn’t get a stop. In the second half, they were able to in order to rally and win. In a Jan. 30 loss to the Orlando Magic, they were great in the first half on defense and then they were bad on that end in the second half.

“I think our approach,” Harden told reporters. “Our approach to every single game no matter who we play. Tonight’s one of those games where it’s difficult to get up, but you got to still be professional. We’re a new team and that’s what we’re trying to get to consistently. Weren’t consistent enough tonight (Friday). We got a win, but just got to be better overall.”

The Sixers will continue their road trip on Sunday when they pay a visit to the New York Knicks.


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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire