The Philadelphia 76ers kept rolling through the season and made sure that Jason Kidd would not be the highlight of their journey. The 76ers beat the Sacramento Kings, 106-97, in Jason Kidd’s debut as coach on Saturday, spoiling Dwight Howard’s return to a more familiar environment.
Philadelphia held on down the stretch with a strong defensive effort that included committing nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. A two-point lead became a 10-point victory when John Salmons hit a 3-pointer with 8:28 remaining to cut the Sixers’ lead to 97-90.
With the game on the line, the Sixers went to the 3-point line for its last seven points, including a Blake Griffin layup on a clever, behind-the-back pass from Evan Turner. The next possession, Ben Gordon made a 3-pointer to put the Sixers up, 104-90.
Gordon finished with 20 points, half of his total from the first three quarters. It was his first game in 17 games due to an injured wrist.
Turner led Philadelphia with 21 points. Griffin added 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Howard, who signed with the Kings as a free agent and was booed repeatedly throughout the game, ended with 19 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.