Sixers fall to Pacers; losing streak at 19

Lavoy Allen (left) had little sympathy for his former teammates. He shot 6 for 6 on his way to 13 points.
Lavoy Allen (left) had little sympathy for his former teammates. He shot 6 for 6 on his way to 13 points. (MATT SLOCUM / Associated Press)
Posted: March 16, 2014

The return of Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen was a little more competitive than expected.

The struggling 76ers gave the Eastern Conference leading Pacers a contest before Indiana escaped with a 101-94 victory Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

This marked the 19th consecutive loss for the Sixers (15-50). A setback Saturday night at home will tie the franchise-record of 20 straight defeats rung up by infamous 1972-73 squad.

The NBA record for consecutive losses is 26 by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.

If the Sixers are looking for sympathy, they won't get it from Allen. They traded the big man and Turner to the Pacers (48-17) for Danny Granger and Golden State's 2015 second-round pick.

"Do I feel bad for them?" Allen said. "I mean, they wake up every morning and play basketball. That's nothing really to feel bad about. It's a privilege."

But Friday night's game wasn't just a homecoming for Allen and Turner.

Coach Frank Vogel, who had 60 family members and fans in attendance, is a Wildwood native and was a Sixers assistant during the 2004-05 season. Reserve swingman Rasual Butler is product of La Salle University and Roman Catholic High. And reserve center Andrew Bynum was a Sixer last season. He, however, missed the entire season due to chronically injured knees.

This was the first time Allen and Turner faced their former team.

Before the game, Turner exchanged handshakes and hugs with Sixers employees in a hallway. The 6-foot-7 swingman also spent some time with his former teammates in the Sixers locker room.

"I hadn't really seen them in a while," Turner said. "I have some good friends over there. You know it was great to see them."

He and Allen were delighted with the Sixers video tribute to them during the first timeout.

Perhaps motivated by playing the Sixers, Allen had best performance as a Pacer.

The 6-foot-9 reserve center scored a season-high tying 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting. The Temple product also had four rebounds and two blocked shots. That's not bad, considering he only saw action because Bynum had the night off.

It was only the fourth game Allen has played since the trade.

"A lot of them were easy buckets," Allen said. "Other guys got a lot of attention. I'm just hanging around the rim. So they were easy drop-offs."

Turner has played in all 10 games since joining the Pacers.

However, it's in a different role than he's used to. He was the Sixers go-to guy, averaging a team-leading 17.4 points. With Indiana, he's a role-playing reserve.

He had two points on 1-for-4 shooting against the Sixers. He came into game averaging 9.1 points while playing 22.8 minutes a game as Pacer.

"You have an opportunity to play for something bigger than you," Turner said. "That's all that matters. So each night I try to figure out what I could possible do to try to help the team if it's just defense all one night and disturbing on another night, I just try to walk the way they walk."

The Sixers pulled within three points (93-90) on Thaddeus Young's jumper with 2:31 left. The Pacers responded with a 7-0 run as the Sixers missed their next six shot attempts.

"We need every break we can get if we are going to beat a team, especially like that. I think that period [late in the game] let us down."

Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 25 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and three steals. The power forward made of 10 of 31 shots to become the first Sixer to attempt 30 plus shot attempts since Allen Iverson had 37 at Miami on Nov. 27, 2006.

Reserve center Byron Mullens made three of five three-pointers on his way to 15 points.

All-star Paul George paced the Pacers with 25 points.

"We couldn't fully put them away," George said. "So this game could have easily been a blowout type of game. You got to give them credit. They kept battling."

Earlier Friday, the Sixers signed guard Darius Johnson-Odom to a 10-day contract and released point guard Lorenzo Brown. They are also expected to designate reserve post player Arnett Moultrie to the Delaware 87ers, their NBA Development League team. Moultrie was not with the team Friday.


comments powered by Disqus