76ers struggle without Thaddeus Young in loss

Posted: February 08, 2013

It took just one quarter Wednesday night to tell that the 76ers are going to miss forward Thaddeus Young over the next three weeks. Just how badly they will miss the injured forward was apparent after the final buzzer sounded to mercifully to end an exercise in futility.

Playing their first game without Young, who suffered a strained left hamstring in a win over Orlando on Monday, the Sixers matched their season low for points in an 88-69 loss to the surging Indiana Pacers at the Wells Fargo Center.

"They have the kind of team that can get you in the mud, and that's what they did tonight," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "They can pound you. We looked like the team that had played 10 games in 10 nights."

The Pacers (31-19) played their third game in as many nights and won all of them. Winners of four straight and now 12 games above .500, the Central Division-leading Pacers held the Sixers below 20 points in each of the first three quarters.

Hoping to string together their first four-game winning streak since last April, the Sixers were playing their first game of the season without Young, the team's second-leading scorer (14.9 points per game) and top rebounder (7.4).

The Sixers (21-27) made just 34.4 percent of their shots. Their starters - which included Kwame Brown at center - were just 15 for 59 in the game. Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 19 points but was just 7 for 22 from the floor. No other starter scored in double figures. Nick Young finished with nine points. Spencer Hawes scored six points on 3-of-13 shooting, and Evan Turner scored just two points on 1-for-10 shooting.

An 11-2 Indiana run to begin the third put the Pacers' lead in double digits. The best defensive team in the Eastern Conference made sure its lead never dipped below 10 in the final 8 minutes, 40 seconds.

"I just don't think we hit shots," Holiday said. "We got good shots. But it got away from us early in the third quarter. They didn't really have it, but they played better than we did."

All but one Indiana starter scored in double figures. Center Roy Hibbert led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Paul George, David West, and George Hill all finished with 15 points for the Pacers.

The Sixers were just 5 of 7 from the free-throw line. Indiana was 19 of 25.

The Sixers will not play again until Saturday when they host Charlotte. They waived guard Shelvin Mack after the game, according to a report by Yahoo Sports. Mack signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Sixers.


Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com, or follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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