Philadelphia 76ers finish off the TrailBlazers 101-100

Spencer Hawes takes a fade away shot in the 76ers victory over the Trail Blzaers Monday night.If you’ve been watching the 76ers all season then you’ve probably noticed that they give you fits each game. The constant jump shots, lack of inside force, silly turnovers, and inability to close out games has driven me insane over the course of this season. But, those are not the 76ers of the past week. They’ve won 3 of 4 and almost ended the Miami Heat’s win streak in their one loss. Last night, the 76ers (26-40) held on at the end, made some crucial plays that they would have missed earlier in the season and beat the Portland Trailblazers (31-35) by a final of 101-100.

LaMarcus Aldridge was the latest opposing big man to dominate the 76ers, as he finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds, but the biggest play of the game was Aldridge not being able to back Spencer Hawes in closer than about 12 feet and had to shoot over Hawes. The shot rimmed out and Hawes tipped the rebound in the air as time expired and the 76ers were victorious. It’s a play to close out a game that they haven’t made all season long, as they’ve dropped close games or lost leads late in a good portion of the season. This time, even though it appeared it would happen again, it didn’t  Jrue Holiday fell on the inbounds pass and the ball went out of bounds, giving Portland one last chance to win the game.

Holiday, again, was the leader finishing with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, but 4 other 76ers finished with double figures. Thaddeus Young had 19 points, Dorell Wright continued to stay hot off the bench with 16 points and Spencer Hawes finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The teams fought all game and the 76ers, at one point, held a 14 point lead, only to fall in to their usual late game druthers and let the Trailblazers back in to it. In the end, it doesn’t matter, as the 76ers gave another glimpse of the team they could be in defeating a worthy opponent, as they had in beating Brooklyn and Indiana over the past week. The only blemish over their recent 4 game home stand was a loss to the Heat, which is nothing to be ashamed about as no one has beat the Heat in the past 23 games.

Most of the 2nd half was taken up with talk and conjecture over Andrew Bynum and the decision for him to have knee surgery and end his season. End his season? Like he actually had a season. Maybe’ they’re referring to his bowling league, because he’s been nothing but a distraction and nuisance to the 76ers basketball team and organization. Somewhere, Jeff Ruland is laughing as he’s no longer the biggest joke in 76ers trade history.

Let’s see if the 76ers can keep up the great play as they travel to Lob City to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (46-21) on Wednesday, March 20th at 10:30 pm EST.

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Tim Sullivan

Born and raised in Fishtown. Bleeds Philly sports. You can follow him on Twitter @IrishTim74.