Just like old times as Sixers rout Bobcats

Posted: March 19, 2012

CHARLOTTE - Before last night's game against lowly Charlotte, 76ers coach Doug Collins tried to convince reporters that the Bobcats were a good team. He stated his case, backing it with the Bobcats recently holding a 16-point lead over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks (a game in which Dallas won) and that they had good players and scorers in D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson.

Needless to say, Collins' points fell on deaf ears. How the heck can a team that had won just seven of their 43 games to that point in the season be anything but awful?

No doubt Collins preached the same gospel to his players before the game, so as his team wouldn' take a win for granted. That would have been a huge mistake for a team that had lost three in a row and was just 5-11 over its past 16 games.

The Sixers must have listened to Collins better than the reporters, as they methodically put away the Bobcats in a 105-80 win that upped their record to 26-20.

It was kind of like old times for the Sixers, if you can call the beginning of the season old times. Spencer Hawes was very effective at both ends of the floor, going for 13 points, 11 rebounds and three each of blocks and assists in his 23 minutes. The offense appeared to be in constant motion, with fluid ball movement and a defense that was up to its usual performance, holding the Bobcats to 29-for-75 shooting (38.7 percent). And Lou Williams (19) and Thaddeus Young (20) provided the bench spark, combining for 39 points, making all but six of their 24 shots.

The Sixers busted this one open in the third quarter, when they grew a two-point halftime lead to 76-63 heading into the fourth. The Sixers limited the Bobcats to 6-for-22 shooting in the third and hit 14 of their 23 shots. They also owned the boards by a 17-8 margin as the Bobcats rarely ventured into the lane offensively, instead relying on often-contested long jump shots.

Jrue Holiday, coming off a career-high 30-point effort in Chicago on Saturday, scored 20 Monday night, while Elton Brand collected 16 points and eight rebounds.

The Bobcats, who were playing without leading scorer Corey Maggette due to lower back bruise, were led by Henderson's 14 points.


The Sixers host the New York Knicks tomorrow and the Boston Celtics on Friday before going to San Antonio for a Sunday game against the Spurs . . . Sam Young got his first real meaningful time with the Sixers last night, logging a 7-minute run in the first half.

Contact Bob Cooney at cooneyb@phillynews.com

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