It might have been his first career start but Tony Wroten made an instant impact, posting a triple double as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Houston Rockets 123-117. With the win the 76ers, who were began the season with 9,999-1 odds of an NBA title, at 5-4 to begin the season.
Tony Wroten made the start in place of an injured Michael Carter-Williams, and quickly made a case for more playing time moving forward. According to his postgame interview, Wroten’s career night was like nothing he had ever experienced on a basketball court, let alone the NBA.
“First time for everything,” Wroten explained. “I never had a triple-double at any level, not middle school, high school, anywhere.”
In case you were wondering, 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 11 assists made up the stat line of Wroten’s triple double.
For the 76ers, the win over the Rockets consisted of quality performances by several players, Wroten’s effort was simply the statistical highlight of the night.
James Anderson would have stolen the spotlight any other night, posting a career-high 36 points in the victory. Behind Wroten and Anderson on the list of 76ers stars tonight was Spencer Hawes, who drained the go-ahead basket with 34 seconds left in overtime.
Defensively the 76ers still have plenty of room to improve, the Rockets did put up 117 points after all. They were spearheaded by a replacement starter of their own. Jeremy Lin started in place of the injured James Harden and produced a stellar 34 point outing after draining a career-best 9 three pointers.
After finishing off the Rockets, it is becoming evident that there is more fight in this 76ers team than anyone expected heading into the season. The over-under on wins for this team in Las Vegas was 17 when the season tipped off. Just nine games into the year, this team has already shown itself to be far superior to that mark .
On top of the Rockets, the 76ers have already knocked off the two-time defending champion Miami Heat as well as a Chicago Bulls team that is supposed to contend for a spot in the NBA Finals this season after the return of Derrick Rose.
“I’m proud of their competitive spirit,” head coach Brett Brown said. “We have no right to have an inherent chemistry or camaraderie. We were thrown together in a few months. But the group trusts each other and enjoys playing together. They have resolve and a fighting spirit.”
Picking up wins over quality opponents such as the Rockets behind huge performances from young talent such as Tony Wroten is a perfect recipe for the 76ers to continue to turn heads this season. Who knows, they may continue to shock the world as the season unfolds.