By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Sixers would be back in action on Tuesday night, looking to bounce back from a loss to the LA Clippers on Saturday. Next up on their road trip would be potential MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
This game would be part five of a season-high six-game road trip for the Sixers, and it showed. The road trip looks to be taking its toll as the Sixers would have a lack of energy for a majority of the contest.
Despite some valiant efforts from the Sixers in the second half, Denver would take this game rather easily. They would pick up a wire-to-wire victory by a final score of 104-95, handing the Sixers their second straight loss.
The Nuggets came out of the gates firing and really set the tone early. They would score 44 points on almost 70% in the opening quarter to bury the Sixers in a deep hole early. This early deficit would prove to be just too much to overcome.
Two key factors stood out from this loss, tired legs and carelessness with the ball. Turnovers have been a weak point for the Sixers throughout this season, and it showed in the first quarter. The Sixers would eventually cough the ball up 11 times, resulting in 13 points for the Nuggets.
Lack of energy would be the other key area that led to the Sixers' dropping this game to Denver. Almost from the opening tip, they looked sluggish and played like a team just trying to survive a road trip. This lack of energy would hurt them most defensively, as it allowed the Nuggets to move the ball and step in wide-open jump shots countless times.
Offensive struggles were apparent up and down the Sixers' lineup. They would shoot just 42.7% as a team, with Tyrese Maxey being the leading scorer with 13 points. Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons would be not far behind him with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Part of these losses can be attributed to playing good teams back to back, but that is no excuse. For a team that has prided itself on its ability to shut teams down defensively, the Sixers have had troubles on that side of the floor for the second straight game.
After playing so well to kick off this road trip, this team is starting to look like a team that is missing its star player.
Looking ahead, the Sixers have one more game to get through before they get to head back home to the Wells Fargo Center. The finale of this road trip will be a chance to get some redemption against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has had their number this season.