Youth served the Sixers well last night as guards Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner led them to a come-from-behind 101-93 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
The Sixers improved to 3-2, ending their five-game road trip to open the season. Their home-opener will be Friday night against the Detroit Pistons.
The Sixers started slow, missing 14 of their first 21 shots and fell behind by as many as 14 points in the first half. But they pecked away in the third quarter in finally took over the game in the fourth, when they outscored New Orleans by 34-20.
Holiday scored 14 of his game-high 23 in the fourth. He hit a pair of huge three-pointers, the first coming from the left baseline with 4:17 left to give the Sixers an 89-83 lead, his second coming with 2:36 remaining for a 92-87 cushion. But the play of the night came courtesy of Andre Iguodala, who basically finished off the Hornets when he followed a missed jumper by Spencer Hawes. Iguodala appeared to come from nowhere, corralled the ball with his left hand around the rim and threw it back in for a 96-89 lead.
Turner fishinshed off his best game as a pro with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists. He is starting to look more and more like the player he was two years ago at Ohio State, when he garnered player of the year awards.
Spencer Hawes turned in another good outing for the Sixers, collecting 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Elton Brand posted 12 points and 12 rebounds and Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young each had 10 points.
The Sixers were very thin at the center position as earlier in the day they traded away Marreese Speights to Memphis - the trade netting them a couple of second round picks. Then about an hour before the game, rookie big man Nikola Vucevic gingerly walked to the locker room after straining his back.
"I was just doing my shooting and everything was fine and then, I don't know, I guess I made a bad move and I tweaked it. Nothing bad, though. It just got real tight and I couldn't really move well and it was hurting a little bit. So I did some stretching and I got a massage and it's feelling a little bit better."