Hornets try to bounce back vs. 76ers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets are not doing themselves any favors by playing poorly down the stretch and hope a visit by the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday will cure what ails them.

The Hornets have lost 10 of their last 14 games and came up empty in Friday's 93-74 loss to the just-as-hungry Indiana Pacers. Gerald Henderson led the Hornets with 12 points, while Marvin Williams, Lance Stephenson and Bismack Biyombo netted 10 apiece.

Charlotte scored just 13 points in the second quarter (27-13) and was held to nine in the third (21-9). The Hornets shot 35 percent for the game, which is a performance not indicative of a playoff-caliber team.

"It's not really the effort that you can give in the position that we are in," Henderson said. "Things got tough for us and we couldn't get ourselves out of it."

Indiana turned 18 Charlotte turnovers into 20 points and had a 55-42 rebounding advantage. Hornets center Al Jefferson was bothered by a sore knee and played only 11 minutes, scoring four points on 2-of-6 shooting. He is expected to miss Saturday's game.

The Hornets are two games behind Miami for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the Heat Tuesday in South Beach.

Indiana and Boston are also ahead of Charlotte in the standings.

The 76ers will try to stop a four-game slide Saturday in the continuation of a three-game road trip.

Philadelphia kicked off the jaunt with Wednesday's 106-93 loss to the Washington Wizards, as Ish Smith supplied 23 points and Isaiah Canaan added 18 points off the bench. Hollis Thompson had 16 points in a reserve role and Nerlens Noel continued his surge with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Sixers scored only 13 points in the fourth quarter and shot a paltry 39.6 percent from the field. They were also outrebounded, 47-34.

"We got jumped," Sixers coach Brett Brown said.

Brown's team has lost eight of the last 11 games and will close the trip Sunday against the New York Knicks. The Sixers have lost 18 of their last 19 road games and are 6-32 away from home.

Noel is averaging 14.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in his last 19 games for the Sixers, who have posted an average of 98.8 ppg in their previous six contests. Opponents are averaging 102.6 ppg in the last seven.

Canaan is expected to miss tonight's game because of an ankle injury.

The Sixers and Hornets have split a pair of meetings this season. Charlotte is 5-2 in the last seven games in this series with Philadelphia.

Philly is winless in its past three trips to Charlotte.