Perhaps it was a good indication that yesterday wasn't going to be the Sixers' day when Sacramento improbably battled back from 18 down for a stunning upset of the Clippers in L.A., then Kentucky bowed at the last second to UNC, eliminating the final couple elite prospects coveted by Sixers fans from the NCAA Final Four. Indeed, the Sixers all but no-showed against the Pacers in Indiana last night, seemingly unable to convert any jumper beyond three feet (and certainly none behind the three-point line until Sergio Rodriguez went nuts), allowing the Pacers to pull away in the third quarter for a 107-94 victory.
Which is fine, of course: The Sixers need losses at this time of the year, especially if the Kings are gonna be little punks and insist on still winning a game every couple weeks. This one was kind of a bummer, though, because it was the first bad Dario Saric game since the All-Star break -- not just bad by his standards, but pretty roundly bad in general, as he scored nine points on 3-15 shooting, with four turnovers and just a single assist. (He did grab ten boards at least, and played some pretty decent D on former Sixer great Thaddeus Young, who went 0-7 on the night, so at least it wasn't a total wash.)
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Still, the nine points breaks Dario's 22-game streak of scoring in double digits, dating back to early February. Since then, he's averaged 19.2 PPG / 7.7 RPG / 3..4 APG and shot 46.5% from the field, cementing his Rookie of the Year candidacy as legit. It's been an incredible run that's continued to make the Sixers must-see tankavision, including his career-high 32 against Chicago just a game earlier -- and no reason to think he won't pick it right back up tomorrow night against the Nets in Brooklyn. Before then, let's take a moment to marvel at how consistent Dario turned just halfway through his rookie season -- without no double-digit streak longer than five prior to going 22 straight -- and how lucky we've been to have him in our leaves in this otherwise historically dour stretch of post-Process hoops.