76ers put perfect home record on line vs. Hornets
Coming off their first road win of the season, a 100-94 verdict over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, the Phildelphia 76ers return to the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night to host the Charlotte Hornets.
Three days after committing 27 turnovers in what was their fifth straight road loss to open the season -- an embarrassing 122-97 to Brooklyn on Sunday, the 76ers righted the ship against the Pacers, turning the ball only 16 times while holding Indiana to 39.4 percent shooting.
"Our defense in the second half was excellent, to hold them to 44 points in here in Indiana, and to find a way to have Victor (Oladipo) a little bit under control," 76ers coach Brett Brown said after the win. "I thought we did a decent job of guarding down the stretch."
Now Philadelphia will be tasked with cooling off a Charlotte that comes in off back-to-back victories over Cleveland and Atlanta that pushed the Hornets (6-5) back above .500.
The 76ers (7-5) will have to counter Charlotte's scoring diversity, as the Hornets had seven players in double figures against the Cavaliers and five against the Hawks on Tuesday.
Kemba Walker, who ranks second in the NBA with 28.1 points per game, led the way against the Hawks, scoring 29 points.
While Charlotte is getting stand-out play from its backcourt of Walker and Jeremy Lin, the 76ers are looking for more production from Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, the former dealing with sloppy ball-handling and the latter dealing with shot issues.
In the loss to Brooklyn, Simmons had five turnovers, but had only one against the Pacers. It was his first game with one or fewer turnovers in nine contests.
"It's still not at a level that you're happy with, but we did a better job in the second half,'' Simmons said. "The guys are aware of it. They understood that if it got too much out of control it may be the single thing to fuel a comeback.
"The top on the bench was exceptional, those guys being mature and recognizing that even if you don't get a shot, it's a lot less punishing than a quick turnover."
Philadelphia enters the game bolstered by a 6-0 home record, though the scoring has been all over the place. The 76ers have scored 127 points against Chicago and 122 against the Los Angeles Clippers at home, but also managed just 105 in a two-point win over Charlotte on Oct. 27, when the teams met for the first time this year, and 109 against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
In their first matchup, J.J. Redick and Robert Covington hit late 3-pointers to distance the 76ers from the Hornets.
"It's going to be a very physical game inside with (Joel) Embiid," Hornets coach James Borrego told reporters after practice Wednesday. "Redick is a problem, we're going to have to be better on him, and not fouling their shooters. But we were right there, second night of a back-to-back in Philly, tied game at 99. We're confident. We have to go in there and play the right way and play together."Home