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Pistons-76ers Preview

AP - Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are feeling very good about themselves as they finally get ready to play their home opener.

The 76ers will become the final NBA team to play at home Friday night when they take on the Detroit Pistons.

Philadelphia (3-2) capped its season-opening five-game trip with Wednesday's 101-93 victory over New Orleans. The 76ers outscored the Hornets 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

"Average teams lose (this game), and teams who want to be good, they find a way to win," coach Doug Collins said. "We got off to a very sluggish start, and we dug ourselves out of it. A terrific win."

Philadelphia, averaging an Eastern Conference-best 29.8 points in the fourth quarter, has rallied from double-digit deficits to win its last two games. Its two losses on the trip were only by a combined seven points.

The 76ers will return home leading the Atlantic Division as they face a favorable schedule with 18 of their next 22 games at the Wells Fargo Center over a 36-day span, including four at home in the next five nights.

"We're 3-2, that was our mission, that's what we wanted to do and we accomplished it," guard Jrue Holiday said.

Holiday was the catalyst Wednesday with a season-high 23 points - 14 in the decisive fourth quarter. He picked up the slack with leading scorer Louis Williams held to a season-low 10.

"I was hot like a pistol," said Holiday, who also had a season-best eight assists. "I don't know. I just looked to be aggressive and luckily tonight it was falling for me in the fourth quarter."

Although Williams leads all reserves with an 18.2 scoring average, Evan Turner turned in the biggest effort off the bench Wednesday with a season-high 21 points. Reserve forward Thaddeus Young added 10.

"Our energy level picked up," Collins said. "We had some guys come off the bench do a great job."

The 76ers have lost three of their last four home openers and went 26-15 at the Wells Fargo Center last season. Former Philadelphia legends Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Bobby Jones are expected to be in attendance.

The Pistons won two of three last season against the Sixers and have taken seven of the last nine meetings. Detroit (2-4), though, has suffered double-digit losses in its first two road games.

First-year coach Lawrence Frank's team failed to win its third straight after Wednesday's 99-83 home defeat to Chicago. The Pistons shot 40.9 percent, and their 86.8 scoring average is the NBA's third-worst mark.

"I'm not questioning effort," Frank said. "I'm concerned about execution on both ends of the floor. We had shots at the rim and shots in the paint that we didn't execute and turned into transition situations for them."

Top scorer Ben Gordon had a season-low seven points on 2-of-10 shooting. Greg Monroe had team highs of 19 points and 13 boards.

"We started off the season a little inconsistent," Gordon said. "We're still a work in progress. Even though we won the last two games, I wouldn't have told you that I think we've arrived."

The Pistons finished last in the NBA with 4.0 blocks per game last season and are at the bottom again with 2.5 this season.

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