Holiday is a rising star for the Sixers and the league.
Although Sunday's Eagles-Vikings was canceled due to blizzard-like conditions at Lincoln Financial Field, there was still one Philadelphia team that was victorious last night.
Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young combined for 42 points as the Sixers overcame a 12-point 4th quarter deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets 95-89 at the Pepsi Center.
The Sixers started the game as cold as the drifts of snow currently piling up around the Philadelphia region. They came out of the gate shooting 3-for-17 from the field, finishing the first quarter on the wrong side of a 25-13 margin.
Andre Iguodala (9 points) was especially off last night, finishing the game 3-for-12 from the field and 3-for-10 from the foul line. Truth be told, the whole team struggled at the charity stripe, shooting only 20-for-32 (63 percent) against the Nuggets.
Despite missing the services of Carmelo Anthony, who was away for the third straight game due to personal reasons, the Nuggets appeared to be well on their way to their 13th win at home this season.
Enter Thaddeus Young.
Due to the absence of backup guard Lou Williams (who is currently in Philadelphia, awaiting the birth of his first child), Young was counted on against Denver to deliver off of the bench, and he came through in spades. He was the most active player on the court for either team, scoring 20 points and grabbing 7 rebounds to compliment his solid defensive effort.
Point guard Jrue Holiday was excellent as well, scoring 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting, despite playing less than 26 minutes due to foul trouble. But even with the superb play of Young and Holiday, the Sixers still found themselves down 82-70 with 8:11 left in the 4th quarter.
As fate would have it, while the Nuggets would struggle to score from that point on, the Sixers ripped off an impressive 24-4 run to put the game away. The burst was capped off by Jodie Meeks who was 2-for-11 before hitting a crucial 3-pointer to make the score 92-86 with 47.1 seconds to go.
"Needless to say, this was a great win," said Sixers' coach Doug Collins, who was all smiles once the buzzer sounded at the end of the game.
The Sixers took advantage of Denver's lack of size, scoring 48 points in the paint. They dominated the glass as well, pulling down 49 rebounds, including 17 on the offensive end.
With Nuggets' Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen getting only limited minutes last night, Elton Brand had his way around the basket, scoring 16 points to go along with 17 rebounds.
And once again, the Sixers were extremely careful with the basketball, only turning it over 7 times on the night. For what it's worth, Doug Collins's team is doing a good job of not beating itself - they're currently averaging only 13.3 turnovers per game, tied for 2nd in the NBA.
With Williams missing and Holiday with foul difficulties, Evan Turner took advantage of his chance at extended minutes, scoring 8 points and filling the box score with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
Despite his ability to play the 2 (shooting guard) and 3 (small forward) positions, Turner continues to look the most comfortable when he's running the point for the Sixers. Unfortunately, with both Holiday and Williams on the roster, there aren't too many minutes at the 1 for Turner, who will need to learn how to play without the ball in his hands.
The Sixers are now 2-2 on their infamous 8-game road trip, improving to 4-12 away from the Wells Fargo Center. Visits to Golden State, Phoenix, Los Angeles and New Orleans round out the trip before they return home January 5 to face the Washington Wizards.
"This is a great overall victory for the team," said Young after the game. "We haven't been finishing games well, and we finished this one. And it was great tonight to just come in here and get a win."