The Philadelphia 76ers will look to snap a two-game losing streak when they visit the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
Following an impressive home victory on Christmas Day against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Sixers have dropped consecutive road games by one point each against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.
The Sixers have won 16 of 18 home games but have scuffled on the road, going 7-10. Their loss in Miami was similar to many others with fourth-quarter miscues, empty possessions and crucial turnovers. Tobias Harris missed a dunk and Joel Embiid had a costly turnover late in regulation before the Sixers fell in overtime.
“To do a lot of good things and then just make some plays you wished you had back, makes it difficult to swallow,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said.
Embiid scored 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Josh Richardson scored 17 points and Ben Simmons had another fine all-around game with 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.
But the result on the road was another loss.
“I’d probably have to go back at look at it (film), honestly,” Simmons said. “But finishing out the game, and how everybody’s feeling now, obviously we are disappointed. There’s lots of things we’ve got to work on as a team. Just really watch film.”
Embiid added, “Just stay together and keep fighting.”
Harris gutted his way through a sore right hip and had 12 points, although he missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Harris’ status for the game against Indiana wasn’t immediately known. Simmons missed Monday’s practice due to illness.
The Pacers will return home after arguably their most maddening defeat of the season, a 120-98 loss at the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
Indiana has dropped three of the last four, but this loss was particularly disturbing. The Pacers scored only 13 points in the second quarter and never recovered. Malcolm Brogdon missed his third consecutive game with a sore left hamstring, and his absence was noticeable.
“We haven’t done that great on the road. We’re getting there,” guard Aaron Holiday said in the Indianapolis Star. “We’re getting better at it. Also we don’t have everybody healthy right now so I feel like when we get everybody healthy that’ll push us over the hump.”
Holiday led the Pacers with 25 points, T.J. Warren added 20 and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 16 rebounds.
The Pacers’ defense, which is usually stellar, couldn’t contain the Pelicans. In the second half, the Pelicans knocked down 11 of their first 20 treys. The Pacers also committed 18 turnovers in the game, which isn’t a recipe for winning on the road.
“People might blame it on a back-to-back,” Sabonis said. “We need to move the ball more and play like a team and get back to the way we were playing. It’s something inside we need to figure out.”
Brogdon, averaging 18.3 points and 7.6 assists per game, said Monday would be ready to play for Tuesday night’s game. The Pacers are 14-3 at home.
–Field Level Media