76ers-Pacers Preview

In his return to one former home state, Tyler Hansbrough helped

finish off an Indiana Pacers’ comeback.

As he comes back to his current home, Hansbrough will try to

assist the Pacers again Saturday night against the winless

Philadelphia 76ers.

After dealing with vertigo in the preseason, Hansbrough hit a

key jumper in Friday’s 104-101 victory in Charlotte. The forward,

who starred at North Carolina, also grabbed a defensive rebound and

made a pair of free throws in the final minute.

“Whenever the opportunity came I was going to step up and go out

there and try to play my game and prove that I can help the team

out a little bit,” said Hansbrough, who finished with 12

points.

Before Hansbrough’s heroics, Danny Granger scored 13 of his 33

points in the fourth quarter to help his team rally from an

11-point first-half deficit. Granger, who has averaged more than 24

points in each of the last two seasons, also had 26 in Wednesday’s

122-109 loss to San Antonio.

Indiana (1-1) will try to drop Philadelphia and first-year coach

Doug Collins to 0-3.

The 76ers, though, have showed signs of respectability in those

games as they’ve rallied in both. They were trailing by 15 on

Friday against Atlanta before falling 104-101 and came back from a

26-point deficit to Miami in a 97-87 loss Wednesday.

After facing a pair of 2009-10 playoff teams, the 76ers will try

to help Collins earn his first victory with them during a

three-game stretch featuring teams that missed the postseason.

Collins, though, could use a more balanced effort from his

starting lineup. Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala each had strong

performances against the Hawks, but didn’t get much help.

Iguodala had 27 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, and Brand

had 20 points and eight boards in the defeat. However, Jason

Kapono, Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday combined for 14 points.

Those three players also had a total of eight points and did not

attempt a free throw in Wednesday’s defeat, which might lead

Collins to shake up the starting lineup. He could go with Andres

Nocioni, who had 15 points off the bench Friday.

“I am still trying to figure out this team,” Collins said.

“Nocioni is going to give us more of a physical presence out there.

We’re just too small out there and it’s not a good mix. The way to

get Nocioni out there is to start him.”

The Pacers, meanwhile, are hoping Darren Collison can bounce

back from his 2-of-10 shooting performance Friday as they try to

earn their eighth win in 11 tries over Philadelphia and sixth in

nine home matchups.

Collison had seven points against the Bobcats after scoring 19

in the season opener. If he continues to struggle, Indiana could

rely again on Granger, who has scored at least 20 points in his

last three meetings with Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is also hoping for a better effort from

second-overall draft pick Evan Turner, who missed all five shots

Friday after scoring 16 in his NBA debut.

The Pacers and 76ers will play again Wednesday night in

Philadelphia.