The Sixers are 4-2 on the meaty schedule against NBA powerhouses Orlando, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio, but dropped a 100-90 decision to the Spurs Wednesday night in the second installment of a three-game homestand. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young scored 22 and 16 points, respectively, off the bench and Andre Iguodala posted 17 and seven rebounds for Philadelphia, which lost for the second time in eight tries and had a four-game home winning streak cut short.
"This is a world championship team and organization," Collins said of the Spurs. "Pop is a great coach. They string you out. They get you in pick-and- roll and put three-point shooters on the floor."
Collins' squad is still a solid 13-4 in south Philly this season and will play three straight and seven of eight games on the road after tonight. 76ers center Spencer Hawes was out with a strained left Achilles. He missed 10 straight games, then returned for two and aggravated the injury again. The Atlantic Division-leading Sixers fell to 0-5 when allowing 100 or more points.
Philadelphia has yet to lose consecutive games this season. On Thursday, Iguodala was named as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star squad. It is the first All-Star appearance for Iguodala, now in his eighth season in the league and with the 76ers. He is averaging 13 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals this season.
"I could not be more proud of Andre Iguodala for being recognized as an All- Star," Collins said. "Andre has meant so much to the success of our team this season and he is one of the most talented, unselfish players I have ever had the opportunity to coach - the entire 76ers organization, our coaching staff, his teammates and I are thrilled he will be representing us in this year's All-Star game."
The Clippers will continue their 11-day, six-game road trip tonight and are 2-1 on the sojourn following Wednesday's 99-92 loss at Cleveland.
Chris Paul finished with 16 points and 12 assists, while Blake Griffin had 25 points and 15 boards for the Clippers, who had won six of their last seven games entering the game. Caron Butler had 21 points in the loss and Randy Foye started in place of injured guard Chauncey Billups, who is out for the season after suffering a torn left Achilles in Monday's game, and recorded 15 points.
"We came out flat, I couldn't make a shot, we didn't defend well" said Paul.
Paul and Griffin were voted as starters for the West's All-Star team.
New Clippers forward Kenyon Martin made his season debut and scored six points. Martin played for the Xinjiang Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout, and was contractually obligated to wait until the end of the Tigers' season before returning to the NBA. He was cleared to play by FIBA, basketball's international governing body last week.
Los Angeles will also visit Charlotte and Dallas on the trek, and is 5-5 as the guest this season. It had a four-game road winning streak stopped in Cleveland and owns a 6-2 record against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Clippers lost both meetings with Philadelphia a season ago and is just 2-6 in the past eight matchups in this series. The Clippers have lost three of four and 12 of their last 14 visits to the City of Brotherly Love.