Coming off a heartbreaking defeat, the Philadelphia 76ers could have trouble bouncing back against a team they’ve struggled to beat on the road.
The 76ers will try to avoid a sixth consecutive road loss to the Charlotte Bobcats and complete a three-game sweep of the season series when the teams meet Thursday night.
Despite leading by four with 22.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, Philadelphia (17-24) lost 99-98 to Orlando in overtime, extending its skid as the visiting team to four games.
After the Magic’s Jason Richardson(notes) tied the score on a four-point play, the 76ers had a chance to win in regulation, but Lou Williams’ 3-point attempt rolled around the rim before bouncing out.
“We can’t let (the games) boil down to that, then maybe we’ll get a little more respect down the stretch, with how the game is called sometimes,” said Andre Iguodala(notes). “I don’t know if we earned that respect or not. We play hard every night … (but) we never get it.”
Williams is averaging 19.9 points over his last seven contests, including a 23-point performance Monday as Philadelphia defeated the Bobcats 96-92 in overtime. The Sixers also beat Charlotte 109-91 on Dec. 4, but it’s been a different story in Charlotte, where they’ve lost five straight.
Philadelphia fell 103-84 during its last visit March 31 due in large part to 25 turnovers, its highest total since committing 26 at Miami on Nov. 5, 2008.
Charlotte (16-24) avoided matching a season-worst four-game losing streak with an 83-82 win in Chicago on Tuesday night and sits one half-game back of Philadelphia and Indiana for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
The Bobcats are 7-5 since Paul Silas replaced Larry Brown as coach on Dec. 22, and Silas is pleased with his team’s recent effort.
“Gerald (Wallace) was terrific (Tuesday),” Silas told the team’s official website. “He was great offensively and defensively. We are also getting more confident as a team. We’re running better and that is helping us get easy baskets.”
Wallace had 13 points and a season-best 16 rebounds while Charlotte improved to 6-2 when he records a double-double. He has registered double-doubles in three straight home games versus Philadelphia, averaging 25.7 points and 12.3 boards.
The Bobcats, who scored 16 fast-break points Tuesday, forced the Bulls into 14 turnovers and have won five straight and seven of eight when forcing at least that many.
“You can’t turn the ball over against this team,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “If you do, you put them in the open floor and they score easily.”
Since a 107-105 loss on Jan. 19, 2005, Charlotte has taken nine of 10 from the 76ers at home and has shot 50.5 percent from the floor during its five-game run.
Boris Diaw(notes), who recorded a triple-double Monday with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, has averaged 22.0 points in two games against Philadelphia in 2010-11 - 10.2 more than his season mark.
Charlotte’s Tyrus Thomas(notes) missed the last meeting with the 76ers after he was suspended for a flagrant foul, but he could have an impact on this one after averaging 10.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots in his last seven games.