76ers bring momentum into home game vs. Hornets
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After snapping a two-game losing streak with a win over LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers head home for a quick turnaround with a Friday matchup against the Charlotte Hornets at Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia heads into the game having rebounded quickly from a two-game slide that included a one-point loss at Miami on Tuesday.
The 76ers allowed James to deliver his usual full stat sheet as he scored 30 points and added nine rebounds eight assists, but no other Cavaliers player had more than 13.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, had six players in double-figures, including J.J. Redick, who led the way with 22 points, while Joel Embiid added 17 points and 14 rebounds.
"There was a great vibe out there," second-year star Ben Simmons said after the victory over the Cavaliers. The whole team was very competitive and that was a great win for us. We stayed together, we stayed in our sets defensively and we stayed locked in."
Unlike the 76ers, who scored a big victory over one of the Eastern Conference's top teams to right the ship, the Hornets come into Friday's road matchup coming off a 28-point loss at another of the East's beasts, Boston. The Celtics defeated Charlotte 134-106 on Wednesday as Kyrie Irving had 34 points in 25 minutes, while the Hornets' defense collapsed for the first time in a half-dozen games. After holding five of their previous six opponents to 105 or fewer points -- all wins -- the Bobcats allowed Boston to shoot 62.1 percent from the field on Wednesday.
"It's one game," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said after the game. "This is a tough 10-game stretch. We knew that when we started. We're 4-1, but everything is about getting better and making progress. We're going nowhere playing like that. We have to play the way we played the first four games, but it has to start with defense."
Philadelphia's defense, like Charlotte's, has been on the upswing in recent weeks. The 76ers have held 10 of their last 12 opponents to 105 points or fewer, while they lead the league in rebounds per game at 47.
"The discipline of things and the disposition of things," Brown said about addressing his defense. "There was a playoff disposition we have to continue to grow and a playoff discipline we need. We have to get a higher level of discipline and disposition as it relates to our defens. The Wizards game and the Miami game exposed those types of areas that will help us get better."
Kemba Walker leads the Hornets in scoring at 23.1 points per game after recording 23 versus Boston on Wednesday. Embiid paces the 76ers with 23.8 points.
Friday's matchup will be the first of four in the next month. The teams play in Charlotte on Tuesday and April 1, and play in Philadelphia again March 19.
After this matchup, the 76ers head on the road Sunday to face Milwaukee, while the Bobcats stay on the road with a Sunday matchup at Toronto.
Updated March 2, 2018