Hornets 111, 76ers 99By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Jan 15, 2013 9:30 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA -- Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points Tuesday night, as the rejuvenated New Orleans Hornets held off the Philadelphia 76ers, 111-99. Eric Gordon added 19 points for the Hornets (12-26), who have won five of their last six games and are 6-2 since he returned from a knee injury. Jrue Holiday had 29 points and 11 assists for the Sixers (16-23), who fell behind by 20 early in the fourth quarter only to mount a furious rally behind backup guard Nick Young. Young, who did not play in Saturday's victory over Houston as coach Doug Collins sought to improve the team's defense, did not play in the first three quarters Tuesday, either. But Young packed all 14 of his points into the first 5:14 of the fourth period, igniting a 21-9 spree. When the Sixers' Dorell Wright drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing with 5:24 remaining, the New Orleans lead had shrunk to 97-89. But Gordon made a free throw with 4:40 left. Ryan Anderson, who had seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, added two more foul shots 36 seconds later. He then answered Holiday's two free throws with a tip-in, and Vasquez's 3-pointer with 2:44 left gave the Hornets a 105-91 lead. The Sixers never drew closer than eight thereafter. Evan Turner also had 14 points for the Sixers, who lost for the sixth time in seven games, and failed in their bid to win consecutive games for the first time since late November. The Hornets had been limited to a franchise-low point total in a 77-62 loss to Philadelphia Nov. 7. But they made 16 of 21 shots in the first quarter -- 76.2 percent -- to claim a 35-28 lead. Vasquez had 11 points in the period, and Gordon nine. It was the most points the Sixers have allowed in a first quarter this season. New Orleans' lead stood at 48-35 midway through the second quarter, but Thaddeus Young scored six points and Holiday four in a 12-5 Philadelphia flurry at the end of the half, cutting the deficit to 53-47. Holiday finished the half with 12 points and nine assists, while Young scored eight points. The Sixers extended the run by scoring the first four points of the second half, to close within two. But the Hornets extended their advantage to 18 by the end of the period. Xavier Henry's dunk 35 seconds into the final quarter gave them an 88-68 advantage. NOTES: Young said before the game that it's "definitely a great feeling" to know that center Andrew Bynum, who has yet to play this season because of bone bruises to both knees, hopes to return in February. "We feel he's a difference-maker, that game-changer for us," Young said. "Me personally, I can't wait. I'm getting more excited, each and every day." ... Hornets coach Monty Williams said the shoulder problems of reserve forward Jason Smith, an ex-Sixer, continue to be a concern. "He's struggling a little bit," Williams said. "He's a guy we value, we need. Lord willing, he'll be playing well." ... Williams, who played 21 games for the Sixers in his final season (2002-03), also interviewed for the team's vacant head-coaching job before Doug Collins was hired in 2010. One of Williams' assistants, Randy Ayers, went 21-31 as the Sixers' coach in 2003-04.
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