76ers-Pacers Preview

The Associated Press

When the Philadelphia 76ers selected Evan Turner with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, they envisioned a dynamic player who can help in their rebuilding project.

That plan is beginning to come to fruition.

Turner looks to continue his recent solid play as Philadelphia seeks its fourth straight win when it visits the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

Since coach Doug Collins inserted him into the starting lineup, Turner has blossomed after shaking off the nerves. He shot 1 for 12 and had two points but added 12 rebounds in his first start March 5 in a loss to Milwaukee, though he's averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds over his last three.

Turner scored 24 points and grabbed 15 boards in a 106-94 win over New York on Sunday to help the Atlantic Division-leading 76ers (25-17) to their third consecutive win.

Turner, who averaged 7.8 points in 37 games off the bench, said his recent performances were bound to happen with more playing time.

"Getting more minutes is definitely key to my development, and playing with a great group of guys, it's easy to transition (into the starting lineup)," Turner said.

"You can't do much without minutes, to tell you the truth. I can't stress enough about getting the opportunity to play."

Louis Williams scored a game-high 28 points off the bench Sunday for Philadelphia, which had lost eight of 10 prior to this three-game run.

"There's going to be teams that we play against that will have more talent and we've got to hope at the end of the day that our numbers makes us a better team," Collins said. "That's been our whole emphasis."

The 76ers have scored 100-plus points in three straight for the first time this season, though Indiana seems ready to put a halt to that offensive surge.

The Pacers (24-16) ended a four-game skid with a 92-75 win over Portland on Tuesday, holding the Trail Blazers to 31.3 percent shooting.

Lou Amundson scored a career-high 21 points off the bench for the Pacers, who led by as many as 29 points.

Center Roy Hibbert said the solid defensive performance will be a boost heading into a tough matchup with the 76ers.

"It was great just to get a win," said Hibbert, who had eight points and six rebounds. "Any win right now was good, and now, we have a tough game ahead of us against Philadelphia. We're just going to get mentally prepared and ready to go."

Hibbert scored a team-high 19 points against the Sixers on Jan. 9, though Andre Iguodala had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Philadelphia's 96-86 home win.

The 76ers hope to get some help from Spencer Hawes, who has missed the last 17 games with a strained left Achilles.

Hawes hasn't played since Feb. 6, though he said he's ready to contribute. Collins said Hawes, who is expected to start but will be limited to five minutes per quarter, looked good in practice Tuesday.

"It looks like he picked up right where he left off," Collins said. "He's ball-friendly and for a big guy, he can really help space the floor for us.

"I want to get him right back in the mix."

Philadelphia has won three of the last four meetings, but the Pacers have won two of three in Indiana.

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