CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gerald Henderson came up big, and Jrue Holiday came up small.
That was the story in a nutshell as the Charlotte Bobcats rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 88-83 on Wednesday night.
Henderson scored a game-high 24 points and made the two biggest plays of the game in the final minute. His jumper with 33.9 seconds remaining gave the Bobcats the lead for good at 84-83, and then he stole the ensuing inbounds pass and dunked with 30.3 seconds left for an 86-83 lead.
Holiday, meanwhile, suffered through a nightmare 2-of-24 shooting performance and finished with five points, 13 below his season's average. He was just 1 of 12 in the fourth quarter, when he repeatedly tried to take over the game and failed.
As a result, the Bobcats were able to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid being swept in the season's series with the Sixers, while the Sixers saw their slim playoff hopes all but officially ended.
Sixers coach Doug Collins seemed to wave the white flag after his team fell to 30-44, now trailing Milwaukee by six games with eight to play in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Sixers failed to score on their last three possessions in the final minute, allowing the Bobcats to score the final six points of the game.
"These are all learning situations," Collins said. "We've got to do better. That's why I'm constantly teaching with this group, finishing these games off. Even though it looks like we're not going to make the playoffs, you've got to make the right plays whether you're playing Charlotte or Chicago in Game Six of the playoffs.
"Last year, we had one playoff game where we committed only three turnovers. This team here, we get careless, and we never could get a grip on the game."
Philadelphia led by as many as 16 in the first half, but wound up shooting just 35.1 percent thanks to a combined 10 of 48 for Holiday, Evan Turner (6 of 15) and Thaddeus Young (2 of 9).
Ultimately, the game was decided in the final minute.
Philadelphia took an 83-82 lead when Damien Wilkins hit one of two free throws with 53.4 seconds left. Henderson came down and nailed a 17-footer for an 84-83 Bobcats lead with 33.9 seconds left, and Philadelphia called timeout and advanced the ball into its frontcourt.
Turner initially couldn't find anyone open to inbound to and, with his five seconds running out, tried a desperation pass. Henderson snatched the pass almost out of Turner's hands and went the distance for a dunk and an 85-82 lead with 30.3 seconds left.
Holiday then missed on the Sixers' next possession, and Kemba Walker hit two free throws with 21 seconds left to push the lead to five.
"We were trying to come down and play tough defense," Henderson said. "I knew guys were pressuring behind me, and once the count got down, I just tried to jump the ball. I knew he had to pass it, he didn't want to call time out. So I just kinda jumped on the ball and it hit my hand and I went to the basket with it."
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap was elated with the defense throughout the final three quarters, as the Sixers scored 56 points in the final three periods. Dunlap was critical of his team after a 131-102 loss at Milwaukee on Monday, and he thought his team responded to the challenge.
"They heard a lot from me about 130 points against the Bucks," Dunlap said. "The word I used was disgusting. I told them I don't care where you're at, you can't do that. So we focused on saying, let's make a stand, let's have an identity on the defensive end, and they took it to heart."
Holiday offered up no excuses afterward.
"A lot of those shots, especially in the fourth quarter, they rimmed in and out," Holiday said. "I definitely thought those were going in. They felt good. But there's nothing you can do about that. In the fourth I know I'm going to have the ball and I know obviously I want to make the play, and tonight unfortunately tonight I didn't make it."
Walker finished with 17 points and 10 assists for the Bobcats, who raised their record to 18-57, and Josh McRoberts had 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Wilkins led Philadelphia with 20 points.
NOTES: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was back with the Bobcats after missing Monday's game at Milwaukee because of family matters. He scored 14. ... The Bobcats signed Jannero Pargo for the rest of the season Wednesday, after his second 10-day contract was up. ... Pargo's brother Jeremy was waived by the Sixers on Monday. ... The Bobcats had five players out: Ramon Sessions missed his 14th straight game with a sprained left knee; Brendan Haywood missed his 10th straight with a stress reaction in his right foot; DeSagana Diop missed his ninth straight game with right knee soreness; Byron Mullens was out for the fourth straight game with soreness in his left ankle; and Jeffery Taylor injured his right foot Monday at Milwaukee. ... Wednesday's game started a four-game road trip for the Sixers. They'll play at Atlanta on Friday, then to Miami and Brooklyn. Six of the Sixers' final eight games are on the road. ... The Bobcats will remain home to face Miami on Friday.