The Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the NBA's worst road teams in recent years. Trips to Sacramento certainly haven't helped.
Beginning their longest road trip of the season, the 76ers look to end their struggles in Sacramento against the Kings when the teams conclude their season series Friday night.
Philadelphia, 64-112 (.364) on the road since the start of the 2003-04 season, will need to improve its play away from the Wachovia Center if it hopes to have a breakout season. The Sixers (12-16) have been better on the road in recent weeks, winning four of six after dropping their five of their first six this season.
Arco Arena and the Kings, however, have always given Philadelphia problems. The Sixers will begin a six-game road trip in Sacramento, where they have lost 15 of 17 games since the start of the 1989-90 season.
Also, Philadelphia lost its first meeting with Sacramento (11-16) this season 109-99 at home on Dec. 14.
The Sixers, though, begin this trip having won two straight and seven of their last 10.
Andre Iguodala scored a season-high 28 points to lead Philadelphia past Miami 96-85 on Wednesday night, four days after he scored 23 - including the winning basket as time expired - in a 99-97 win over Memphis. The fourth-year swingman has reached 20 points in four of his last five games.
Iguodala has benefited from Andre Miller's outstanding play at point guard. Miller had 12 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds versus the Heat after a 29-point effort against the Grizzlies.
Miller had a team-high 24 points and eight assists in the Sixers' first matchup with the Kings.
"I think he sets the tempo of our game," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said of Miller. "Pushing the ball up the floor, getting guys in the floor of the offense - he does that a lot. Then as the game dictates itself in the second half, he determines whether or not he's gonna score or distribute the ball to different guys."
Willie Green, Miller's backcourt mate, missed Wednesday's game with a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day. Green is third on the team with 13.1 points per game.
Sacramento, meanwhile, got a combined 19 points from its starting backcourt of John Salmons and Beno Udrih in an 89-69 loss to Boston on Wednesday night.
The Kings shot 38.2 percent in their lowest scoring game of the season. Their previous low was in a 90-78 loss at Boston.
Two straight losses at home have derailed Sacramento after a 3-2 road trip.
The Kings, however, hope to take advantage of two more games at home before opening 2008 with three in a row on the road. They realize every game will be a battle, especially until Mike Bibby (thumb) and leading scorer Kevin Martin (groin) return.
"When you're eyes are set on the playoffs, it becomes very important - with the next two games at home - to stay on track with what we're trying to accomplish," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "And that is to stay in the mix until we get fully healthy."
A bright spot for the Kings continues to be the play of former Sixers swingman Salmons, who is averaging a career-best 15.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Salmons is shooting 60.9 percent (14-for-23) from 3-point range in his last 14 games.
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