Clippers-76ers Preview

After a rough first month, the Philadelphia 76ers appear to be

hitting their stride.

The 76ers look for a season-high third consecutive victory while

trying to keep the Los Angeles Clippers winless on the road

Wednesday night.

Philadelphia (9-15) won 82-77 at New Jersey on Tuesday for its

sixth win in eight games following a 3-13 start.

“We’re a bunch of young guys just trying to win, and lately

we’ve been successful,” said Jrue Holiday, who scored 10 of his

game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Strong defense continues to key the 76ers’ resurgence.

Philadelphia opponents have averaged 86.9 points on 41.3-percent

shooting over the last eight games.

Two nights after New Orleans shot 30.4 percent during an 88-70

loss at Philadelphia, the 76ers limited the Nets to 34.1 percent

from the floor but almost squandered a late 11-point lead.

“We still make too many mistakes at the end of the game,” coach

Doug Collins said. “We can’t do that, but we got away with it

tonight. I think I teach more in winning than in losing. We have to

finish games better. We did get the win and that’s what


Philadelphia could achieve a more complete effort against a

Clippers squad that’s averaged 84.7 points during its current

three-game skid.

Though Los Angeles averaged 108.0 points on 53.7-percent

shooting while winning both meetings with the 76ers in 2009-10, the

Clippers (5-20) are 0-10 away from home this season and have

dropped 37 of 40 on the road since a 112-107 overtime win at

Philadelphia last Dec. 19.

Los Angeles will try to avoid a ninth straight defeat to an

Eastern Conference opponent after falling 94-85 at home to Orlando

on Sunday.

Coming off consecutive one-point defeats to the Lakers and

Memphis, the Clippers trailed by 26 points in the first half and

got no closer than six in the fourth quarter while shooting 38.1

percent against the Magic.

“We still got to be more consistent and play a whole game,” said

rookie Blake Griffin, who had 27 points and 16 rebounds. “It’s

tough, but at the same time I know it’s not going to happen

overnight. It’s going to be gradual.”

Griffin, who is contributing 20.3 points and 11.9 rebounds per

game, has posted 12 straight double-doubles, averaging 24.3 points

and 13.3 boards during that stretch.

“He is really aggressive out there. That is what I like about

him,” Orlando star Dwight Howard said. “He just needs to continue

to work hard and get better.”

Eric Gordon scored 28 points Sunday and is averaging 24.5 this

season, but he has totaled 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting with four

assists and six turnovers in two career games at Philadelphia.

Though Baron Davis has averaged a disappointing 7.4 points in 11

games while battling injuries this season, he scored 20 and added

13 assists in Los Angeles’ win at Philadelphia last season.

Ex-Clipper Elton Brand has scored 15 points in each of his last

two games for the 76ers, and has averaged 16.7 points and 10.6

rebounds in seven career games against Los Angeles.