KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The 76ers overcame a severe case of the first-half shooting blues ... but still lost.
After shooting 26% in the first half, they made 60.9% of their shots in the third quarter as they dropped a 118-115 exhibition loss in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks at HP Field House in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
After the game, Mike Scott, once again, used his platform to make a plea to bring justice for Breonna Taylor.
“Breonna Taylor’s murders are still walking around,”the reserve forward said. “We are still waiting. We are still waiting. We are still waiting for that. I still don’t know what’s taking so long. We still want justice, and that’s all I got.
“I’m going to keep saying that every time I’m interviewed. I’m going to keep stressing that.”
Scott and teammate Tobias Harris have joined a chorus of NBA players who have used their news conferences amid the restart to speak out on behalf of Taylor, who was shot at least eight times after Louisville Metro Police Department officers used a battering ram to enter her apartment before 1 a.m. March 13. The officers were serving a no-knock search warrant as a part of a narcotics investigation.
They want Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove to be held accountable for Breonna Taylor’s death.
Last month, Hankison was fired from the police department for violating its policy on the use of deadly force. The police chief said Hankison “wantonly and blindly” fired 10 shots into her apartment. Mattingly and Cosgrove were other officers involved in the fatal shooting. There has been public outrage for the killing and the fact that no criminal charges have been filed.
Scott and Harris want Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron to arrest Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove.
That -- not the game -- was on Scott’s mind late Tuesday night.
The loss gave the Sixers a 1-2 record in their three scrimmages at Walt Disney World heading into the NBA restart. They play their first of eight seeding games on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers at the VISA Athletic Center.
Harris had a game-high 28 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in 29 minutes of action. The forward struggled in the first quarter, scoring three points on 1-for-7 shooting. However, he scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the second quarter. And he had 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting in the third before exiting the game with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third.
“We weren’t making too many shots in the first half, so our message in the locker room was encourage each other to have confidence in one another,” Harris said. “Just go out there and try to play off each, Offensively and defensively.
Al Horford added 14 points, with 11 coming in the third quarter on 5-for-6 shooting. Ben Simmons had four points on 2-for-10 shooting to go with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in 19 minutes, all in the first half.
Matisse Thybulle finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals in a reserve role. Mike Scott had 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Alec Burks led the Sixers with 7 assists to go with 15 points, 2 steals and a block.
On this night, the Sixers were without Joel Embiid (right calf tightness), Glenn Robinson III (left hip pointer) and Raul Neto (lower back tightness). Coach Brett Brown expects Embiid to play Saturday against the Pacers.
The Sixers could have used the trio in the first half, as they struggled to make shots from the start. They made just five of their 27 first-quarter shot attempts en route to shooting 15-for-57 in the first half. Despite their shooting, the Sixers trailed by only nine points (48-39) at intermission.
The team started Thybulle in the second half in place of Simmons. The second team started the second half on a 13-2 run to take 52-50 lead after Harris’ four-point play 2 minutes, 1 second after intermission. He converted a three-point play before making a technical foul, which was called on Dorian Finney-Smith.
Led by Harris, Horford and Thybulle, the Sixers made 14 of 23 shots in the third quarter to take an 80-74 advantage. Thybulle made 3 of 5 shots in the quarter to score seven of his points.
“We weren’t making too many shots in the first half, so our message in the locker room was encourage each other to have confidence in one another,” Harris said. “Just go out there and try to play off each, Offensively and defensively.”
Horford sparked the Sxiers with a personal 7-0 run and Harris was able to get easy buckets in transition.
He said the Sixers wanted to play off that energy before they get ready the seeding games.
Dallas All-Star point Luka Doncic finished with 23 points, while Kristaps Porzingas added 17 points and 12 rebounds.