By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
As part of a holiday treat let's take a jump in the time machine and go back to Easter Sunday nine years ago. The Sixers had their backs against the wall against the NBA’s new supervillains, but somehow found a way to pull a rabbit out of the hat (pun intended.)
It was LeBron James’ first postseason as a member of the Miami Heat and his first obstacle was a scrappy Sixers team. Although being able to keep most of the games close, the Sixers found themselves down 3-0 in the series and potentially being swept on their home court.
Against all odds, the Sixers were able to avoid the sweep and give the home fans a present on Easter. The Sixers pulled off an 86-82 victory and forced a game five in Miami.
The Sixers rolled out a starting five of Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Spencer Hawes, and current Sixers’ GM Elton Brand. Arguably the most unlikely of lineups to knock off LeBron James and company even if it was only one game.
Miami’s big three dominated the Sixers but it was not enough to complete the sweep. LeBron finished the game with 31 points and the big three combined for 65 of the Heat’s 82 points.
Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand carried the load for the Sixers’ starting lineup. Elton Brand posted a solid double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Iguodala filled the stat sheet finishing with 16 points, rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The stars did their jobs, but the heroics came from the Sixers’ bench.
Lou Willams and Evan Turner were the scoring leaders for the Sixers with both of them notching 17 points. But it was Williams who had the biggest moment in the game.
The Sixers were down one in the final twenty seconds of the game and opted to put the ball in the hands of their sixth man. Williams was able to create some room for himself and knock down a huge three-point shot over the outstretched arm of Dwyane Wade to put the Sixers up two.
Williams’ shot would extend the Sixers season and allow them to fight another day. Sadly they would not be able to ride the high of that thrilling victory and be sent home in game five.
Although the win only extended the series one more game, the Sixers were able to hold their heads high. That ragtag team was able to steal a playoff victory from the team was the new NBA juggernaut.