Hornets-76ers Preview

The Associated Press

Doug Collins was pleased his Philadelphia 76ers were able to get their homestand off to a solid start their last time out, though he'd like to see some improvement on the defensive end of the floor.

A similar performance to their first meeting with the New Orleans Hornets likely would suffice as they seek their sixth victory in the last seven matchups Tuesday night.

Philadelphia (16-22) began a stretch of four straight and 12 of 13 games at home with a 107-100 win over Houston on Saturday, marking the most points it has scored in regulation this season.

The 76ers, who snapped a five-game losing streak, rank near the bottom of the league averaging 92.6 points.

"We needed it," said Jrue Holiday, who scored a game-high 30 points and added nine assists. "Going into this home stretch, getting the first one is huge. Home court is big. It's crucial. We've got to come here and try and win at home."

While the offensive outburst was welcomed, Collins' team allowed at least 100 points for the fourth time in five games. Philadelphia is giving up an average of 103.4 points in that stretch compared to 95.8 prior to it.

The 76ers had their best defensive effort of the season Nov. 7, setting a season best for points allowed while holding New Orleans (11-26) to its fewest of the season in a 77-62 victory.

The Hornets' Eric Gordon and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis sat out that meeting with injuries, though, and Collins expects a much tougher test despite New Orleans scoring only 91.9 points per game.

"We know how important it is (to have a defensive mindset) with this New Orleans team (because) we didn't see Eric Gordon or Anthony Davis the first time we played," Collins said. "(Coach) Monty Williams has done a great job with that team and they've had some great wins. We've got a very tough game (Tuesday) night and New Orleans is our focus."

The Western Conference-worst Hornets had their season-best four-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's 100-87 loss at New York despite 22 points from Gordon and 13 points and eight rebounds from Davis.

"We just didn't play with a sense of urgency," Williams said. "After winning four games in a row, I thought our guys kind of rested on the fact they need to show up."

Davis, averaging 9.3 points over his last eight games after averaging 14.6 during a stretch of 10 straight double-figure scoring efforts, said the Hornets can't let one game swing their emotions.

"Even if we lose, we have to learn from it and move on to the next game," Davis said. "Even if we win, we can't get too high on a win. Guys are in the league for a reason and everyone can play. We have to think about it that way."

The Hornets may have a tough time slowing Holiday - 14 points and 12 assists in the first meeting - and Thaddeus Young, who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the last matchup.

Young is coming off his 10th double-double in 38 games after having 11 in 361 games over five seasons prior to this campaign.

Collins said neither player had a strenuous practice Monday in order to rest them for this game.

"When Thad and Jrue have great energy, then everybody feeds off that," Collins said. "We've got to keep those guys fresh."