Sixers try to bounce back vs. bumbling Bobcats

The Philadelphia 76ers try to bounce back from a rare loss at home this evening when they welcome the hapless Charlotte Bobcats to the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia lost for only the second time in 10 tries in front of its fans on Wednesday, falling in overtime, 97-90, to the New Jersey Nets.

Lou Williams ended with 17 points and six assists for Philadelphia, which fell to 8-2 at home this season. Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday had 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Trailing by four, 88-84, with 2 1/2 minutes left in overtime, Philly ripped off six straight points to take the lead. Holiday capped the surge with an easy steal off an inbounds pass and slam, making it 90-88 with 1:18 to go.

But Deron Williams made a jumper and three-pointer around Jodie Meeks' missed three-pointer to give New Jersey a 93-90 edge with 26.8 seconds left. The Nets then sealed the win with four free throws.

"We had five fast break points tonight. That was the difference," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "We never could get out and run."

After winning nine of 10 games, the Sixers have now lost three of five and have surrendered 95.4 points-per-game in doing so. Not helping any is the fact that the team is without its two centers Spencer Hawes (Achilles) and Nik Vucevic (quadriceps).

"We definitely need our bigs," Brand said. "We're looking forward to getting them back, but we just couldn't get stops."

The Sixers added some depth earlier Friday by signing veteran free agent center Francisco Elson.

"We are happy to pick up Francisco Elson, a veteran big man who can help bolster our front court, Sixers president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said when announcing the signing.

Charlotte, meanwhile, continues to be one of the league's worst teams at 3-16. The Bobcats dropped their sixth straight game on Wednesday to the equally anemic Washington Wizards, losing 92-75.

Matt Carroll scored 17 points in his first start of the year for the Bobcats, who were without starters D.J. Augustin (toe) and Gerald Henderson (back).

The Bobcats got help from rookie Kemba Walker, who scored eight points to go with four assists and six boards in place of Augustin; and Tyrus Thomas, who added 13 points, nine rebounds and a career-high nine blocks for Charlotte, which has dropped seven in a row on the road.

"As I said last night, take three or four of your best players off any team, and you're not gonna play well," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said about his team's recent injuries. "Our scorers, our two leading scorers are not playing, how are we gonna score?"

The loss was the 12th in 13 tries for the Bobcats, who will be without Augustin again tonight. Henderson will likely be a game-time decision.

Philadelphia could have an even bigger edge tonight, as the home team in this series has won the last four and seven of the last eight contests. Charlotte has also dropped 10 of its last 13 in the City of Brotherly Love.