3. Dario Saric’s pettiness vs. Goran Dragic’s pettiness
In the waning seconds of Game 2, Goran Dragic broke the NBA’s top unwritten rule about garbage time: You aren’t supposed to score on the final possession if you’re nursing a sizable lead. Instead, he glided in for a layup, angering Sixers players, the Philly crowd and bettors who picked the under.
In Game 3, Dario Saric attempted to return the favor.
After an errant Luke Babbitt jumper caromed off the rim with only eight seconds remaining, Ben Simmons snagged the rebound and immediately pushed the ball up the floor. Though the Sixers had a 19-point lead and could have easily dribbled out the clock, Simmons instead hit Saric with a bounce pass in transition, and the Croatian forward took off toward the basket for a game-icer. (Kelly Olynyk had other ideas.)
“I saw Goran didn’t get a lot of s–t about [his last-second layup in Game 2], but I was actually surprised because Dario did when it happened to him,” Embiid told reporters after the game, referring to an incident against the Cleveland Cavaliers in early March that resulted in Jordan Clarkson getting ejected. “… It’s basketball. It’s always good to blow a team out. I think we were up 18 or 20. If you could get that lead up to 22, I think that’s good. I love blowing teams out. I liked the fact that we did that. We’re not here to make friends, we’re here to win a series.”
Screw unwritten rules. This series is all about pettiness.
Next: 2. Hassan Whiteside vs. Erik Spoelstra