BILBAO, Spain -- It started out just like Spencer Hawes' previous six preseason openers.
The 76ers center was an offensive liability, and like most of his teammates, he was getting outhustled for loose balls. But he is also the reason the Sixers defeated Bilbao Basket, 106-104, Sunday in an exhibition game at Bizkaia Arena at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre.
The 7-foot-1, 245-pounder hit a pair of foul shots that gave his team a two-point cushion with 4.89 seconds left. Bilbao's Raul Lopez, a former NBA guard, missed a three-pointer at buzzer.
"I don't think I could have played any worse for the rest of the game," said Hawes, who finished with six points on 1-for-8 shooting. "I have a weird thing with the first preseason game."
For the most part, the Sixers looked like the young and inexperienced players that they are. At times, their spacing was off and they struggled to help on defense. The Sixers' guard-heavy second unit brought a lot of energy but was routinely outrebounded while it was on the floor.
Bilbao battled back from a 14-point deficit and had a 95-92 cushion with 4 minutes, 52 seconds left. But Hawes buried a three-pointer to knot the score and start a 12-0 run that put the Sixers up, 104-95, with 2 minutes, 29 seconds to play.
Bilbao responded with its own 9-0 run. Thaddeus Young fouled German Gabriel while attempting a three-pointer with 6.3 seconds. Gabriel made all three to knot the score at 104.
But shortly after that, Hawes stepped to the foul line and erased what had been a horrible day.
"He made amends," Sixers coach Brett Brown said, "and stepped up and made two very large free throws."
The Sixers' energy and ability to get to free-throw line also a lot to do with the outcome. Routinely fouled in transition, they attempted 46 free throws, making 34. Bilbao, meanwhile, made 28 of 32.
Swingman Evan Turner and reserve guard Tony Wroten benefited the most from going to the foul line.
Turner led all scorers with 25 points while making 10 of 12 free throws. Wroten also made 10 of 12 foul shots and finished with 16 points.
"Once we attack and get to the line, that puts pressure on the defense," Turner said. "We can find other things to occur, and that's what happened."
Newly acquired reserve post player Gani Lawal played 3:12. The 6-foot-9, 234-pounder arrived in Bilbao Saturday night and participated in Sunday morning's shootaround. He missed his only shot and had a rebound, a turnover and committed a personal foul.
"We made young mistakes," Turner said. "But the young guys played hard. They played tough. There's some team stuff.
"But I think we will get better and better."
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