Philadelphia has quickly turned things around after a rough start to its longest road trip of the season.
The 76ers look for a season-high third consecutive victory when they visit the struggling Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
Louis Williams(notes) scored 22 points and Allen Iverson(notes) added 20 as Philadelphia (9-22) won 116-106 at Sacramento on Wednesday, its second straight victory after opening this six-game trip with losses in Washington and Utah.
The 76ers, who improved to 5-12 on the road, have won back-to-back games for only the second time in 2009-10, and the first time since beating Milwaukee and New York on consecutive nights at the end of October.
They’ve accomplished their last two wins with some impressive shooting. Philadelphia shot 52.5 percent against the Kings after converting at a 57.7 percent clip from the field in a 104-93 win at Portland on Monday.
Iverson has totaled 39 points in the two victories after missing the previous four games straight because of arthritis in his left knee.
“He has helped us out a lot, he really opens the floor for everybody when he’s out there,” said teammate Andre Iguodala(notes), who had 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds Wednesday. “He still draws a lot of attention and teams can’t key on myself or anyone else.”
The arthritis is currently limiting Iverson to about 30 minutes per game. He played 32 minutes against Sacramento.
“It’s important for me to do whatever I can to help the guys and give them confidence that we can win games,” said Iverson, who missed the last meeting with Los Angeles, a 112-107 overtime loss for the Sixers at home Dec. 19.
That defeat snapped Philadelphia’s four-game overall winning streak against the Clippers (13-18), but the Sixers have still won two in a row in this series at Staples Center.
Brand, who averaged 20.3 points over seven seasons in Los Angeles, missed Philadelphia’s 100-92 win at Los Angeles exactly one year ago Thursday due to a shoulder injury that limited him to 29 games last season. He’ll equal that total Thursday, but his 13.6 points per game thus far in 2009-10 are a career low.
Clippers center Chris Kaman(notes), meanwhile, is enjoying the best season of his seven year career. He’s averaging a career-high 20.2 points and nine rebounds, and had 24 points and 11 boards in the Dec. 19 win at Philadelphia.
Kaman finished with 25 points and nine rebounds Wednesday at Portland, but Los Angeles fell 103-99 for its fourth loss in five games since beating the Sixers.
“We just didn’t execute defensively,” Kaman said.
That’s been a common theme during the current slump. The Clippers are giving up an average of 105.6 points over their last five games.
The Sixers conclude their road trip Sunday at Denver.