Sixers Point Guard scores a career-high 33 points with 13 Assists
By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report
If there has been a consistent element to the Philadelphia 76ers offensive attack in this young season, it has been that point guard Jrue Holiday has been the straw that has stirred the drink.
In the Sixers 104-101 win over the Phoenix Suns Sunday night at the Wells Fargo Center, Holiday scored a career-high 33 points and dished out 13 assists to help his squad bounce back from a tough overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday Night.
On a night when the Sixers had trouble stopping an offensive-minded Suns squad on defense, Holiday made plays on the offensive end in the fourth quarter that kept his team on top. He led all scorers for that quarter with nine points.
“Thank God, Jrue was on today,” said Sixers head coach Doug Collins. “He was fantastic with big plays—33 (points) and 13 (assists) with only two turnovers. When he’s on the floor, we have the ball in his hands.”
One of Holiday’s biggest plays in the game was in the fourth quarter. With his team holding a four-point lead with the ball with 3:47 left, he secured the rebound from a missed three-pointer by Jason Richardson and then scored an old-school three-point play by making a layup and hitting the free-throw earned when he was fouled by Phoenix forward Jared Dudley.
“I just kind of went for it. Those are the times you see guys like (Russell) Westbrook and (Rajon) Rondo make plays in big moments. I felt like it was an opportunity to get a rebound that we needed,” Holiday said. “I like having the pressure of having the game in my hands, especially in games that come down to crunch time. I think I can make the right plays like we did tonight,”
Holiday’s free throw gave the Sixers a 98-91 lead that kept the Suns at arm’s length during a critical stretch of the fourth quarter.
“He got that great offensive rebound and that three-point play that pushed us back up by seven,” Collins said.
Holiday also got the Sixers big men involved in the offense. Forward Thaddeus Young scored 10 points while center Lavoy Allen dropped 11. While neither player is your typical big man, they are both capable scorers who can hit that 15-foot jump shot.
“We’ve got to continue to look for that punch-in guy because our guys are really not one that you’re going to throw it to them in the post and they’re going to make a lot of post moves. We just don’t have those kind of players,” Collins said. “Our guys are better at punching it and catching it with a quick shot. I thought Young and Lavoy did a better job.”
But Allen and Young admit that they have to be more physical on both ends of the court in terms of scoring, playing defense and getting rebounds.
“I think it helps when we touch the ball even if we don’t shoot it,” Allen said. “Playing that inside-out game and finding the open shooter, helps us look for other guys,” Allen said.
Young said it’s important for he and Allen to be able to fill the void in the Sixers inside offense, especially since center Andrew Bynum is out indefinitely with a pair of injured knees.
“We have to because they’re going to chop our guards and they’re going to do certain things to take Jrue and Evan (Turner) out of the game,” Young said. “We have to step in fill those spots.”