Sixers enjoy a Holiday, halt five-game skidBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Jan 12, 2013 11:30 PM EST
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers needed a meeting of the minds. They needed a victory more. One day after holding a team meeting, the Sixers snapped their five-game losing streak with a 107-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night behind Jrue Holiday's 30 points and nine assists. Thaddeus Young added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers (16-22), who had also dropped 16 of their previous 21 games. Jason Richardson scored 16 points, and Evan Turner had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. "We needed it," Holiday said. "I think it was definitely a confidence booster." James Harden notched 29 points to pace the Rockets (21-17), who lost their third straight. Chandler Parson added 23, and Omer Asik and Carlos Delfino had 16 apiece. Asik also grabbed 10 rebounds. The Sixers, who began the night 27th in the NBA in scoring at 92.2 points per game and 22nd in field-goal percentage (43.8), shot 49.4 percent and cracked 100 points for the first time in six games, the second time in 12 and the 11th time all season. "Their schemes didn't hurt us," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "They just played one-on-one and just beat us." The Sixers had met as a team Friday, at what was ostensibly an optional practice. Young thought the meeting was "very beneficial." "We needed to take a little time," he said. "We needed to sit down, talk, relax, pick each other's brains and find a solution." The Sixers led by as many as 14 points in the second half and by 13 early in the fourth quarter at 89-76. But Houston fought back behind Delfino and Harden. Delfino started a 17-7 run with two 3-pointers -- a flurry that ended with six straight points by Harden -- to cut the gap to 96-93 with 6:11 left. Richardson then drilled a jumper from the right baseline, a big moment for a guy who had been rested by coach Doug Collins Wednesday in Toronto and who felt compelled to meet privately with the coach Friday. "I didn't understand what was going on with the minutes," Richardson said. "Once he explained it, it made a lot of sense to me." Richardson played more than 32 minutes Saturday, the most in his last eight games, and Collins said he envisions an increased role for the veteran the rest of the season Young, who according to Collins was "as lively as he's been in a long time," tacked on a fast-break dunk and a tip-in after Richardson's basket. And it was Young's steal that set up Holiday's fast-break dunk, pushing the lead to 104-94 with 52.5 seconds remaining. Holiday had 13 points and Turner all 12 of his in the first half, when the Sixers shot 52.3 percent from the field while moving to a 58-50 lead. Parsons countered with 13 for the Rockets, and Harden had 12. The Sixers then scored the first six points of the second half to go up by 14. Houston crept within four later in the third quarter at 78-74, but Holiday countered with all of the Sixers points in a 7-2 run at the end of the quarter, giving Philadelphia an 85-76 lead after three. "Teams are getting out to some good leads on us, and we try to fight back," Harden said, "and we get back to a two- or three-point game and then run out of energy. We have to do a good job of sustaining for 48 minutes." NOTES: Harden, acquired in a preseason trade with Oklahoma City, began the night as the NBA's fourth-leading scorer at 26.4 points per game. "I think you would have to start talking about him right now as an MVP candidate," said Collins, who has known Harden since his days at Arizona State. "I've watched James grow. ... I have to tell you when I saw him as a young player at Arizona State, to think that he is where is at this time in his career, I don't know that I would have put a lot of money on that." ... Houston guard Jeremy Lin finished with seven points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field. ... The Rockets were just 8 of 32 from 3-point range.
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