Sunday, December 23, 3:00 PM (EST) at Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY
13-14 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
13-12 (2nd Atlantic, 7th East)
TV: The Comcast Network Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
By JEFF MEZYDLO
The Philadelphia 76ers hope the recent success they enjoyed while beating the Nets in New Jersey will continue in Brooklyn.
With point guard Jrue Holiday back in the lineup, the 76ers look to win two in a row for this first time in almost a month Sunday when they try for a seventh consecutive road victory over the reeling Nets.
Philadelphia (13-14) has won six straight road games against the Nets by an average 10.5 points, but this will be its first appearance at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Though the 76ers will try to avoid their first six-game road skid since an eight-game slide Nov. 10-Dec. 3, 2010, they snapped a five-game overall losing streak with Friday's 99-80 win over Atlanta.
It marked the return of Holiday, who leads the team with career highs of 18.0 points and 8.8 assists but missed the previous four games with a sprained left foot.
"I felt like with Jrue back, we're a different team," Philadelphia swingman Evan Turner said.
That might not bode well for the Nets (13-12), who have lost three in a row and eight of 10. Brooklyn has dropped five of six at its swanky new home since opening 7-1 there.
"We have a lot of season left. We'll get it turned around," Nets coach Avery Johnson said.
Turner scored 21 points, Thaddeus Young added 18 with 11 rebounds as Philadelphia shot 51.2 percent and held the Hawks to 39.2 from the field. The presence of Holiday, however, might have made the biggest impact. He had 11 points with seven assists in 36 minutes, as the Sixers outscored Atlanta by 15 when he was on the court.
"I think you can see the difference that Jrue makes in our team," coach Doug Collins said. "He just gives us a settling presence. Offensively, things are smoother."
He also appears to have helped the 76ers get back on track defensively after they allowed 114.3 points on 52.9 percent shooting in the previous three games.
"We can score when we need to," Holiday said. "But it's just locking up our defense. We tried to take guys out of the game and we succeeded."
With Holiday back in the mix and the Nets mired in their latest skid, it would appear Philadelphia has a good chance to win two in a row for the first time since a three-game run Nov. 25-30.
Turner is averaging a career-high 15.3 points, and has totaled 31 on 15-of-24 shooting in the last two against the Nets.
Brooklyn looks to bounce back after a 100-86 loss at New York on Wednesday. Joe Johnson had 17 points while Deron Williams added 16 with 10 assists and Brook Lopez 16 with 10 bounds for the Nets, who managed 38 points in the second half.
The Nets have scored 90 or fewer in their last three contests, and have allowed 99.3 points in 10 games this month since giving up 90.4 while going 11-4 in November.
"It's very tough and frustrating, considering the fact I know we're not the team that has lost eight of the last 10," Joe Johnson told the Nets' official website. "The way we started, the way the ball was moving, the way we were playing defensively, you couldn't tell me, man, that at this point we'd be right at about .500. I had no clue of that."
Johnson, who is averaging 21.0 points in his last five contests, has been held to 11.6 points per game in his last five versus Philadelphia.