LOS ANGELES - For a night - 48 minutes, two halves, four quarters - it kind of all came together for the 76ers, and the result was a win on the road for the first time in 14 games.
In Sunday's 111-104 win over the Lakers, they got back defensively after misses, limiting the Lakers to only eight fastbreak points. They also helped themselves in that regard by turning the ball over only 11 times, a season low. That kept the Lakers from getting out on the run, a sore spot for the Sixers lately.
They moved the ball well on the offensive end, racking up 24 assists on 39 made baskets, and when the Lakers erased a 10-point deficit to tie the game in the middle of the fourth quarter, veterans Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes made sure there wasn't another meltdown on the road.
"From time to time throughout the holidays, with all the work that everybody's put in, I've said again all along that the group stays together, and we hope we put in quality film session and training sessions, and we keep it real in where we need to work in different areas," coach Brett Brown said. "[Sunday], you saw carryover where we only had 11 turnovers and they had eight fastbreak points, two areas where we have been poor at, and I'm happy for them. If there's such a thing from time to time as deserving something, I think they deserved it.
"As a team, we shared the ball. We talked a lot about [Saturday night], Michael [Carter-Williams] had 28 shots and Tony [Wroten] had a lot of shots, and it's a conflict at times, because they both are really good at attacking the rim. I felt we missed a thousand layups, but, in general, they are really good at attacking the rim. [Sunday], you saw Michael only taking seven shots, and you see Tony not taking much more than that , it's a complete contradiction and a different type of game than we had [Saturday]. They got the veterans involved. I give those two point guards credit for getting those veterans involved."
No one has been more involved lately than Young. He poured in 25 more points Sunday. Over the past four games, he's averaged 27.5 points a game, even heightening his already high-activity level. Turner returned from missing Saturday's game with a sore knee and had as much spring in his step as he's had all season, posting 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. After the Lakers tied the game at 94 with 7 minutes, 7 seconds remaining, Turner scored six points down the stretch to help seal the win.
"We tried to get back in transition as best we could, we made the effort," Turner said. "Picking up our defense and ball movement, it helped out a lot. We didn't play in a crowd as much, we moved the ball, passed the ball, and that was the big thing. As long as we're not dribbling and getting into situations that we shouldn't get into, that works out for us."
The hope for Brown is that it wasn't just a one-game happening.
"I think there's a poise," Brown said. "You can see that they make extra passes, they play side to side, they don't try to have a knockout punch in the first 4 to 6 seconds of the shot clock. That's the difficult things at times when you say, 'Let's play with pace, let's play with pace.' At times, it's just not healthy or wise. It's just not how the game is played, really. The decision when to move the ball and when to slow it down and find a better shot and get somebody involved - that's the sport, that's how you go from just a running type of team to a solid team that can close out a game."