Published January 13, 2015
Perhaps the dark cloud that has been hovering over the Philadelphia 76ers will evaporate when they return home for four straight games, starting with Monday's bout with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Sixers are coming off an unsuccessful three-game road trip, which culminated with Sunday's 99-91 loss against the Orlando Magic. Thaddeus Young has been the lone bright spot for the Sixers lately and led the team with a game-high 26 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds.
"They just made shots at the end," Young said after the Sixers' 13th straight loss on the road. "I think we played good defense but they made some tough shots."
Young is averaging 19.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.7 steals in March.
Damien Wilkins finished with 16 points against Orlando and Spencer Hawes added 15 for Philadelphia, which has dropped five in a row and 12 of 13 games.
Philadelphia, which is last in the Atlantic Division, is 17-16 at Wells Fargo Center and will also entertain Miami, Indiana and Portland. Every team the 76ers will face on this homestand is in the postseason mix.
Meanwhile, the Nets are 2 1/2 games behind New York for the Atlantic Division lead and fourth overall in the Eastern Conference standings -- two games in back of the idle Pacers.
Brooklyn has won three in a row and eight of 12 games, including Saturday's 93-80 victory at Atlanta. One night after sinking 11 3-pointers en route to 42 points versus Washington, Nets point guard Deron Williams settled down to the tune of 17 points against the Hawks.
Williams is averaging 24.9 ppg in his last seven games. Brook Lopez ended with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Andray Blatche also scored 18 for the Nets.
"Our shots really started falling," Lopez said. "I missed a few easy ones in the first half, but I got some good looks and our guys set some good screens for me."
The Nets have won two in a row on the road and are 16-13 as the visitor. They have beaten Philadelphia twice this season and four of the last six times the two division foes have met. However, the 76ers are 10-4 in the past 14 meetings between the teams.
The Nets are unbeaten in three straight trips to south Philly.