PHILADELPHIA -- The 2012-13 season has been hard on everyone involved in the 76ers organization, a fact that is not lost on center Spencer Hawes.
Facing a team that has at times bullied them this year, the Sixers played a cathartic game, earning a 98-91 victory against the Central Division-leading Indiana Pacers in front of 18,587 at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.
And no one enjoyed the night more than Hawes.
The 7-foot Hawes, matched up against 7-2 Roy Hibbert (25 points, 10 rebounds), had perhaps the finest all-around game of his career. Hawes finished with a career-high 16 rebounds and scored 18 points.
But there's more.
Hawes also recorded a career-high seven blocks, helping the Sixers tie the Wells Fargo Center record (14).
And Hawes played a major role in the 28 assists on 39 Sixers baskets, his season-high eight assists second on the team to Jrue Holiday's 12.
The last player to post 18-plus points, 16-plus rebounds, 8-plus assists and 7-plus blocks in a game was Hakeem Olajuwon for the Houston Rockets against the Milwaukee Bucks back on March 29, 1980. Charles Barkley, who posted 31 points, 21 rebounds, nine assists and seven blocks against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 28, 1986, was the last Sixer to put up similar numbers.
"Spencer, wow, he has been terrific," Sixers coach Doug Collins said of Hawes, who has elevated his play in recent days. "We worked on a new set the other day and I thought the guys liked it. It got us some high-quality shots. Terrific win. That team is so tough to play against because they are so physical."
Hawes said he was ready.
"We knew coming in that this was going to be one of the more physical teams the way they play," Hawes said of the Sixers, who improved their record to 25-40. "The way they like to get Hibbert off early it is important to come out with that kind of mind-set."
Down 72-71 at the end of the third quarter, the Sixers opened the fourth on a 19-4 run that produced a 90-76 lead with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left in the game. During that run the Sixers made 8 of 12 shots compared to Indiana's 1-for-9 start to the quarter.
Holiday, with 20 points in the first half, led the Sixers with his 18th double-double (27 points, 12 assists) of the season. Dorell Wright scored 13 off the bench, Thaddeus Young finished with 13, Damien Wilkins added 12 and Evan Turner finished with 11.
For Indiana (40-26), David West and Paul George finished with 18 points apiece.
For the Sixers, the regular season and any hopes of playing in the postseason continue to erode. They will play one more game at Wells Fargo Center on Monday (vs. Portland) before embarking on a West Coast road trip that begins on Wednesday with a game at the Los Angeles Clippers.
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