Pacers lose Stephenson, 76ers lose 2 players
The Philadelphia 76rs will play Friday night at Indiana without leading scorer Jrue Holiday.
Coach Doug Collins is hoping it isn't much longer.
Holiday, who started the first 22 games this season and is averaging 18.4 points, has a sprained right foot, and Collins acknowledged he was holding him out so the injury doesn't get worse.
''We're erring on the side of caution,'' Collins said. ''I don't want him out there playing on one foot and getting back spasms of something because he's playing on one foot. ... I'm hoping it's going to be a few days is what I'm saying.''
The 76ers (12-10) aren't just losing a scorer. Holiday also leads the team in minutes and assists.
Collins knows his team is facing a major challenge by playing one of the NBA's top scoring defenses without its best player.
''We've got to be able to get into our offense,'' he said. ''I expect the Pacers to pressure us tonight. We've lost our best penetrator, who re3ally creates a lot of shots. So with Jrue out, we're going to find some ways to manufacture points.''
Philadelphia also will play without guard Royal Ivey, who has a strained right groin, and Collins acknowledged that center Kwame Brown still needs to lose some weight to reach his potential.
The good news for the 76ers is that the Pacers (11-11) also will be short-handed.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said it's possible Stephenson could return Saturday when the Pacers play at Detroit.
''What they told me was that he can't go today,'' Vogel said, referring to the team doctors. ''But he's got a body that heals pretty quickly.''
Indiana's top player, Danny Granger, still hasn't played this season because of patellar tendinitis in his left knee.