After a rough first month, the Philadelphia 76ers appear to be hitting their stride.
The 76ers look for a season-high third consecutive victory while trying to keep the Los Angeles Clippers winless on the road Wednesday night.
Philadelphia (9-15) won 82-77 at New Jersey on Tuesday for its sixth win in eight games following a 3-13 start.
Strong defense continues to key the 76ers’ resurgence. Philadelphia opponents have averaged 86.9 points on 41.3-percent shooting over the last eight games.
Two nights after New Orleans shot 30.4 percent during an 88-70 loss at Philadelphia, the 76ers limited the Nets to 34.1 percent from the floor but almost squandered a late 11-point lead.
“We still make too many mistakes at the end of the game,” coach Doug Collins said. “We can’t do that, but we got away with it tonight. I think I teach more in winning than in losing. We have to finish games better. We did get the win and that’s what matters.”
Philadelphia could achieve a more complete effort against a Clippers squad that’s averaged 84.7 points during its current three-game skid.
Though Los Angeles averaged 108.0 points on 53.7-percent shooting while winning both meetings with the 76ers in 2009-10, the Clippers (5-20) are 0-10 away from home this season and have dropped 37 of 40 on the road since a 112-107 overtime win at Philadelphia last Dec. 19.
Los Angeles will try to avoid a ninth straight defeat to an Eastern Conference opponent after falling 94-85 at home to Orlando on Sunday.
Coming off consecutive one-point defeats to the Lakers and Memphis, the Clippers trailed by 26 points in the first half and got no closer than six in the fourth quarter while shooting 38.1 percent against the Magic.
“We still got to be more consistent and play a whole game,” said rookie Blake Griffin(notes), who had 27 points and 16 rebounds. “It’s tough, but at the same time I know it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be gradual.”
Griffin, who is contributing 20.3 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, has posted 12 straight double-doubles, averaging 24.3 points and 13.3 boards during that stretch.