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How did it happen? No good answer for Sixers collapse to bulls

BOX SCORE On the way, on the second night of back-to-back, and without Joel Embiid, Sixers have some good excuses. Having said that Wednesday night 108-107 loss for the bulls is difficult to accept. Mike Scott and Jimmy Butler blew their coverage of a dribble handoff between Robin Lopez and Zach LaVine on Bull's last offensive possession, with both players taking Lopez and leaving LaVine free for one and one layup with 1.6 seconds left. It was an inexplicable mistake, especially considering that LaVine had a high score of 39 points. The game had a bizarre end, because officials decided the clock started early on Sixers playoffs by 0.5 seconds to go, making Sixers another try to win. Sixers failed to put off any of the games. The loss drops Sixers to 41 -24 and 4-3 since the All-Star breed without Embiid. • Up 10 in the fourth, Sixers sold the balls directly back into the game with a 10-0 race. The team's sloppy late execution was disappointing. This was a game that Sixers had so many chances to win, and their carelessness with the ball late in the fourth quarter is one of the biggest reasons they could not take advantage of any of these opportunities. • Back on his old stomping, Butler (22 points) did not wait until the fourth quarter to face the Bulls. He shot 3 to 3 in the first three minutes, lifted Sixers to a 12-4 leader with a beautiful back door cut and…

BOX SCORE

On the way, on the second night of back-to-back, and without Joel Embiid, Sixers have some good excuses. Having said that Wednesday night 108-107 loss for the bulls is difficult to accept.

Mike Scott and Jimmy Butler blew their coverage of a dribble handoff between Robin Lopez and Zach LaVine on Bull’s last offensive possession, with both players taking Lopez and leaving LaVine free for one and one layup with 1.6 seconds left. It was an inexplicable mistake, especially considering that LaVine had a high score of 39 points.

The game had a bizarre end, because officials decided the clock started early on Sixers playoffs by 0.5 seconds to go, making Sixers another try to win. Sixers failed to put off any of the games.

The loss drops Sixers to 41

-24 and 4-3 since the All-Star breed without Embiid.

• Up 10 in the fourth, Sixers sold the balls directly back into the game with a 10-0 race. The team’s sloppy late execution was disappointing. This was a game that Sixers had so many chances to win, and their carelessness with the ball late in the fourth quarter is one of the biggest reasons they could not take advantage of any of these opportunities.

• Back on his old stomping, Butler (22 points) did not wait until the fourth quarter to face the Bulls. He shot 3 to 3 in the first three minutes, lifted Sixers to a 12-4 leader with a beautiful back door cut and dunk off a food from Ben Simmons.

With Butler at the point, Sixers had T.J. McConnell screens for Butler on several occasions to force the defense to swap and get Butler a favorable match against a smaller defender – in this case Ryan Arcidiacono. It’s a tactic that Sixers has begun to use with greater frequency, and a simple and effective look they can move forward when Butler is on it.

• For the second straight night, Amir Johnson began. Even with Jonah Bolden returning after missing Tuesday’s play with sinusitis, the decision to keep Johnson in the start five was meaningful. He earned it with his performance against Magic, sent a season-high 13 points, and Lopez is about as close as you can get to an ideal match for Johnson.

Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes.

Though Bolden was impressively agile as he walked on perimeter players, he fought with Lopez’s strength inside and picked up his fifth foul less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Lopez had 19 points, 13 in the first quarter.

• An action Simmons (18 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) and Sixers has gone for newer is the fast dribble handoff in semi-transition. While it is obviously most dangerous when JJ Redick is involved, Simmons puts so much pressure on the defense on how quickly he gets the ball on the floor and forces the defense to have sharp communication.

His fake dribble handoff to McConnell on this game in the second quarter was masterful.

• Well, Tobias Harris was due to a clunker and after a two-point first half, he seemed to have one.

But Harris picked it up in the third quarter and scored nine points in the period. He has just polished and balanced an offensive game that is kept forever.

In the last quarter, Harris was a non-factor. He finished with 13 points at night as his streak of 20 plus points games ended at seven.

• After two straight games on the bench, James Ennis played over Jonathon Simmons. Ennis mixed in the background most of his first stint … and then he did this.

Ennis had his best game as Sixer, sent 11 points in 5 for 7 photography and seven rebounds. The “silent tournament” Brett Brown holds in minutes between Ennis and Simmons is not very determined.

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