It appears the Philadelphia 76ers are starting to get back in gear, but it has been against lower tier teams in the Eastern Conference.
Either way the Sixers target their third straight win tonight versus the New Jersey Nets at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers recently ended a four-game slide with a win at New Jersey on Tuesday and have split two meetings with their Atlantic Division rivals this season. Philadelphia has won nine of 10 contests against the Nets and four of five matchups in the City of Brotherly Love.
The 76ers made it two wins in a row with a 93-75 victory at Toronto on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game road trip, as Thaddeus Young scored 17 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12. Elton Brand finished with 11 and eight rebounds for the seventh-seeded Sixers, who have won two straight for the first time since winning three in a row from March 7-11.
"Winning always feels good," said 76ers coach Doug Collins. "We've got to get the next one and the next one after that. We've got to get on a roll and get that good feeling again."
Philadelphia is one game ahead of New York, three games in front of Milwaukee and three games behind Orlando in the East standings. It is 11-18 since opening the compressed season with a 20-9 mark and will close out the regular season with six of seven games on the road.
The 76ers have lost 10 of their past 17 home games after winning 12 of their first 14 in south Philly (19-12 overall).
New Jersey was last in action against the Sixers and suffered its third loss in five tries in a 107-88 decision.
Kris Humphries posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Deron Williams had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Nets, who had won two straight and five of their previous seven games.
"It was just double-teams all night. They did a good job of taking us out of our offense. They play great defense," Williams said.
After visiting Philadelphia, the Nets will return to the Garden State for a three-game homestand versus Boston, Miami and New York. New Jersey is just 12-18 away from home this season and will host the 76ers on April 23. Nets forward Gerald Wallace (hamstring) is expected to miss Friday's game.