Seeking to build momentum, 76ers take on Spurs

Jrue Holiday has averaged 30.7 points and 11.3 assists in the 76ers' last three games.
Jrue Holiday has averaged 30.7 points and 11.3 assists in the 76ers' last three games. (MATT SLOCUM / AP)
Posted: January 22, 2013

After a day off to savor their biggest come-from-behind victory of the season, the 76ers must start doing some unexpected things.

Such as beating teams that no one expects them to beat.

"Tomorrow is the midpoint of the season," Sixers coach Doug Collins said on Sunday. "This first half has blown by and if we are going to be a playoff team we've got to string some wins together.

The Sixers (17-23) have not won two games in a row since they strung together three straight wins in late November. After rallying from 19 points down to defeat the Toronto Raptors in overtime on Friday, the Sixers will need to beat the powerful San Antonio Spurs (32-11) on Monday night to build much-needed momentum.

"Obviously, they have the Hall of Fame players and a lot of experience," Sixers forward Evan Turner said. "They don't change what they do. They are who they are. . . . Once you buy into how you are going to play as opposed to changing over and over, you're willing to lose with what they've got. Obviously they do that and they win a lot because of it."

The Sixers can take some solace in the fact that they have won two of their last three games.

They have struggled offensively of late, but they also have shown signs of life. In losing five straight before their last three games, the Sixers averaged slightly more than 84 points per game. In their last three they have averaged just under 105.

The Sixers are relying more and more on point guard Jrue Holiday, who scored all 13 of his team's points in Friday's overtime win.

In the last three games, Holiday has firmly placed himself in the running for a position as a reserve on the Eastern Conference all-star team by averaging 30.7 points and 11.3 assists and making almost 55 percent of his field-goal attempts.

"The key is going to be to try to make [the Spurs] do things they don't want to do and try to make them uncomfortable," Holiday said.

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