The Philadelphia 76ers have spent much of the season trying to bounce back from poor performances. Now they’ll look to rebound from one of their worst.
After scoring their fewest points of the season, the 76ers look for a better showing when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Philadelphia (7-21) has failed to score 100 points in 13 straight games and was held to its lowest total in nearly a year in a 101-76 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. It was the second-most lopsided loss of the season for the 76ers, who shot 39.7 percent (29-of-73) from the floor and failed to hit a 3-pointer for the second time this season.
Andre Iguodala led four starters in double figures with 15 points, but Philadelphia suffered its 18th loss in 21 games. The 76ers admitted they haven’t found a groove since leading scorer Allen Iverson was traded to Denver on Dec. 19.
“We’re used to playing with Allen,” said 76ers reserve forward Kyle Korver, who was held to a season-low two points Wednesday. “We’re playing a much different style without him. We’re adjusting to it.”
Andre Miller, brought to Philadelphia in that trade for Iverson, seems to be adjusting as well. Since getting 11 assists and nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in his debut, Miller has scored 14 points in two straight games, but went 5-of-19 from the field with only five assists on Wednesday.
This will be 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks’ second game back in Portland since the team fired him late in the 2004-05 season. He lost in his return to the Rose Garden—95-91 on Dec. 28 of last season—and the Blazers won 81-79 at Philadelphia in the only meeting this season.
Cheeks hasn’t been using forward Chris Webber much recently as he played 26 minutes against the Kings, a day after playing a season-low 13 minutes in a loss to Golden State. The 14-year veteran scored a season-worst four points in each of those games.
“That’s not a lot of time for me, and (Tuesday) was 13,” said Webber of his minutes. “I really don’t know what’s going on.”
Webber is averaging 21.3 points during his career versus the Blazers (13-16), but had his career-worst showing against them in an 81-79 defeat on Dec. 11, scoring just nine points.
Zach Randolph scored the game-winning layup with 2.4 seconds remaining to lead Portland to that victory, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Blazers’ leading scorer is averaging 17.6 points—his third-most versus any opponent—in nine career games against the 76ers.
Randolph had 26 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday to lift Portland to a 100-85 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. The win snapped a two-game skid and was the Blazers’ sixth victory in eight games.
“We really wanted to pick this win up because we needed it,” Roy said. “You’ve got to protect your home floor.”
While the Blazers are trying to move over .500 at home, the Sixers are hoping to avoid a 13th loss in 14 road games.