Bayless leads Sixers comeback over Nuggets with second half burst

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly editor 

A huge third quarter run and an unconscious run from Jerryd Bayless led the Sixers to their largest comeback of the season on Saturday night at Pepsi Center over the Denver Nuggets when they overcame a 14-point deficit for a 107-102 victory. 

The Sixers got off to a hot start thanks to J.J. Redick who connected on two jumpers to help get the Sixers a 6-0 lead. 

The Sixers found success from their big men in the opening quarter with 17 of the teams 31 points coming from the trio of Dario Saric, Amir Johnson, and Richaun Holmes

While the Sixers leaned on the bigs early the Nuggest relied on their backcourt for production, getting 10 points from both Gary Harris and Jamal Murray

The Sixers led 31-29 after the first. 

In the second quarter the Sixers started hitting the three, drilling five triples after hitting none to open the game. 

Dario Saric and J.J. Redick each hit two threes in the quarter, and finished the first half with 11 and 12 points respectively. 

Despite the Sixers hot shooting the Nuggets had the answer with sixth man Will Barton. Barton did it all off of the bench in the first half scoring 12 points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing four assists and coming up with two steals. 

Jamal Murray led all scorers with 18 points in the first half and the Nuggets took a 61-58 lead into halftime. 

The Nuggets came out hot in the third stretching their lead to double digits but the Sixers soon took over the quarter. 

Using a 25-5 run the Sixers took the lead back late in the third quarter when Jerryd Bayless drove for a layup to give the Sixers a 77-76 lead. 

The Nuggets would grab a bit of momentum when Trey Lyles hit a buzzer beat just inside of the halfcourt line to make it an 83-80 Sixers lead going into the fourth. 

Bayless caught fire in the second half scoring 14 points in a 13-minute run to help the Sixers extend their lead. 

The fourth quarter was positioned for an exciting finish but both teams went cold when both sides failed to hit a field goal for over three minutes as the fourth quarter neared its end.

The Sixers led by three with 21 seconds left when the Nuggets were forced to intentionally foul to try to narrow the Sixers lead. Robert Covington hit two at the line to make it a five-point game with under 20 seconds to play. 

After Jamal Murray hit two at the line the Sixers escaped the Nuggets full-court press when Dario Saric heaved a pass the length of the court to Robert Covington who ended the game a with a huge slam. 

The Sixers won 107-102 and advanced to 2-2 on their current road trip. It was the team's second win of the season without Joel Embiid. 

The Sixers were led by Dario Saric's 20 points. The Homie also added nine rebounds and six assists. J.J. Redick scored 18. 

Jerryd Bayless (14), Richaun Holmes (14) and T.J. McConnell (10) combined for 38 points off of the bench. McConnell added eight assists. 

Robert Covington was the final Sixer player in double figures with 15 points. He also had 10 rebounds to collect the double-double.

Jamal Murray led all scorers with 31 points, adding eight rebounds and three assists. 

Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists, but failed to take advantage of the Embiid-less Sixers like many expected him to. 

Gary Harris (17), Will Barton (14), and Trey Lyles (16) also scored in double figures for the Nuggets. 

The Sixers (16-19) will be back at it tomorrow night when they visit the Phoenix Suns.