76ers-Bobcats Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 02, 2013
The Philadelphia 76ers have picked a good time to try to register a season-best fourth consecutive victory. Having two straight games against the NBA's worst team has helped give them that opportunity. With time running out on its quest to reach the playoffs for the third straight season, visiting Philadelphia tries to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats for the second time in four days Wednesday night. The 76ers (30-43) are six games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, and both teams have nine contests remaining. While the odds are not in Philadelphia's favor, it enters this matchup with the lowly Bobcats (17-57) with four victories in five games. The 76ers have held opponents to an average of 90.3 points during the three-game win streak, which includes a 100-92 home victory over Charlotte on Saturday. "We're 7-4 in our last 11. ... Obviously the clock is ticking, but as long as you keep winning you keep giving yourself a chance," coach Doug Collins said. "... We've settled into a nice little playing stretch here where guys are really helping each other." Saturday's win was a total team effort - six of the eight 76ers who played scored in double figures. Evan Turner led the way with 22 points, Spencer Hawes added 19 and All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday scored nine straight points down the stretch to help Philadelphia beat the Bobcats for the sixth consecutive time. After going 1 for 9 in the first three quarters and starting 2 for 13, Holiday scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth. "When it comes down to it in the crucial moments, I think my team has a lot of faith in me," Holiday said. "They encouraged me to make plays to close out the game." After being closed out by Holiday and the 76ers on the second stop of its three-game trip, Charlotte didn't give Philadelphia any help by losing 131-102 to the Bucks on Monday night. "We just couldn't play any defense," guard Gerald Henderson said. "You ain't gonna beat nobody giving up 130 points." The Bobcats lost the three games on the road swing by an average of 15.3 points. They now return home, where they've won four of five following a 2-22 stretch. Kemba Walker led the way Monday with 27 points and six assists. The second-year point guard is averaging 23.0 points and 6.3 assists over his last six games. Walker had 16 points Saturday, and he scored 13 in a 104-98 home loss to the 76ers on Nov. 30 before being held to six in an 87-76 defeat at Philadelphia on Feb. 9. He's shooting 38.2 percent in the season series. Charlotte hopes to have forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist available after he missed Monday's game because he had "to take care of some personal business at home," coach Mike Dunlap said. Kidd-Gilchrist had one of his better performances of his rookie season Saturday against Philadelphia. The No. 2 overall pick had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.
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