Pacers-76ers Preview

The Associated Press

After avoiding their longest losing streak in more than two years, the Indiana Pacers hope to build on the promising debut of Andrew Bynum as they head down the stretch.

The Philadelphia 76ers are just looking to end the second-longest losing streak in franchise history.

As Bynum and Evan Turner return to Philadelphia, the Pacers will try to avoid their fourth straight road loss while dealing the 76ers their 19th straight defeat overall Friday night.

In his first action in almost 2 1/2 months because of knee soreness, Bynum filled in for backup center Ian Mahinmi (ribs) and provided a boost with eight points and 10 rebounds in just 16 minutes of Tuesday's 94-83 victory over visiting Boston.

"He's going to make the game simple from my perspective when he's on the floor," said forward David West, who had 24 points as Indiana (47-17) avoided its first five-game skid since February 2012. "We've got to play through him offensively. He's solid.''

Bynum averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 games with Cleveland before being suspended indefinitely in December. The former All-Star was eventually traded to the Bulls and released before signing with the Pacers on Feb. 1.

Now the Eastern Conference leaders are hoping Bynum can provide another post option with starter Roy Hibbert averaging just 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds over his last six games.

Hibbert, who played through a hard fall in Tuesday's fourth quarter, may be able to bounce back since he's averaged 22.3 points and 12.8 boards in his last four meetings with Philadelphia.

While Bynum makes his second trip back since he was unable to play for the 76ers in 2012-13 due to knee injuries, Turner returns for the first time since Philadelphia moved him with Lavoy Allen to Indiana for Danny Granger on Feb. 20.

Since averaging 17.4 points in 54 games as a starter for the 76ers, Turner has scored 9.3 per game in nine off the bench with the Pacers. However, he could get his first start after George Hill suffered a hand injury in Tuesday's win.

"I'm just going to treat it like another game, try to come out prepared and play hard," said Turner, who spent his first 3 1/2 seasons with Philadelphia.

The Pacers, two games ahead of Miami in the East, may also be missing Mahinmi and C.J. Watson (elbow) as they try to end a three-game road losing streak. Although they allow a league-low 92.0 points per game, they've given up an average of 108.7 during the skid.

Philadelphia (15-49) isn't likely to produce those numbers, averaging just 96.3 points during its 18-game slide.

The 76ers are now only two defeats away from matching the franchise record with 20 straight losses, set in 1972-73. They've already dropped a club-record 14 consecutive home games.

''It's not doom and gloom,'' coach Brett Brown said. "We will have another good day tomorrow.''

Henry Sims was a bright spot with career highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday, while James Anderson added 17 with five 3-pointers in a 115-98 home loss to Sacramento.

The Kings shot 50 free throws against the 76ers, who have given up an average of 115.2 points during the streak.

They sent the Pacers to the free-throw line 38 times in a 106-98 loss in Indianapolis on Nov. 23.

Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams finished with 29 points and seven steals, while Hibbert led Indiana with a season-high 27 points and 13 rebounds.

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