76ers-Bobcats Preview


The Philadelphia 76ers have had a couple of days to rest following another game that wasn't decided in regulation. The Charlotte Bobcats have had the same amount of time off to come up with a plan to get by without one of their starters.

Philadelphia looks to snap a seven-game road losing streak Friday night when it takes on a Charlotte team dealing with the loss of former No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

The 76ers have struggled since their surprising 4-2 start and entered Tuesday's matchup against visiting Orlando with 10 losses in 12 contests. They came away with a 126-125 victory in double overtime, again having a game go longer than 48 minutes.

Philadelphia (7-12) lost 127-125 in double overtime at Cleveland on Nov. 9 before beating visiting Houston 123-117 in OT four days later and topping Milwaukee 115-107 in overtime at home Nov. 22.

The 76ers' four overtime games are tied with Washington's total for most in the NBA, and rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams has played a major role in helping them win the last two.

After posting 21 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds in the loss to the Cavaliers, Carter-Williams missed the win over the Rockets with a left foot injury. He had 12 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals against the Bucks, coming close again to his first triple-double.

Carter-Williams didn't have to wait much longer to accomplish that feat, as the 11th overall pick in June's draft had 27 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and 10 assists Tuesday.

"We're scraping and scrapping for a win," said Carter-Williams, averaging 17.7 points, 7.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds and an NBA-best 3.1 steals. "To come up with a win when things aren't necessarily going your way is big."

The Bobcats (8-11) will get their first look at Carter-Williams, but they won't have their 2012 lottery pick on the court. Kidd-Gilchrist fractured his left hand in an 89-82 loss at Dallas on Tuesday and will be sidelined four to six weeks.

The forward said he didn't know he was injured until he looked down and his left ring finger "was messed up." Bobcats coach Steve Clifford called the loss of Kidd-Gilchrist, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, "a big hit."

"It's going to be tough to make up for what he does," Clifford said.

Charlotte's offensive woes continued in Dallas as it was held to fewer than 90 points for the ninth time. The Bobcats are last in the NBA in scoring average (88.8), field-goal percentage (40.9) and 3-point shooting (29.4), and have reached 100 points once.

They were held to 15 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday after being outscored 38-25 in the final period of Sunday's 99-98 loss at Miami. Charlotte is last in the league with a minus-3.7 point differential in the fourth.

"We've got to get more organized," guard Kemba Walker said. "We tend to stop doing what we've been doing for the first three quarters. In order to win in this league, you have to stick with what you've been doing."

The Bobcats ended a six-game losing streak to Philadelphia with an 88-83 home win April 3. Charlotte has averaged 85.0 points in the last seven meetings.

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