Sixers beat Pacers for second win in a row

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Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) passes the ball during the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at the Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)

The 76ers' horrid start to the season is becoming a distant memory.

A 93-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center was their second consecutive win and third in four games. That's not bad for a team that opened the season with 17 straight losses.

Michael Carter-Williams drove the lane and scored on an underhand scoop to give the Sixers a 93-92 lead with 9.9 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Indiana power forward David West backed down Luc Mbah a Moute before his turnaround jumper clanked off the rim. Pacers center Roy Hibbert then was unable to tip in the miss, and Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel got the rebound as time expired.

"I knew I couldn't go over the top," Carter-Williams said of settling for a scoop shot. "Roy Hibbert is a pretty good shot-blocker. So I went underneath and was able to get it off."

The Sixers take a 7-29 record into their home matchup Tuesday against the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks. Saturday's win enabled the Sixers to post wins on consecutive nights for the first time since road victories over the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings on Jan. 1 and 2, 2014.

The Pacers dropped to 15-24.

"This win definitely takes a bad taste out of our mouth," Noel said about the start to the season. "We feel good about the position we are in now and the progress we've made.

"We are proving to people that we are a team that is going to fight hard every night."

Noel had six points, nine rebounds, and a game-high five blocks. Carter-Williams, a second-year point guard, finished with 15 points to go with nine assists. Backup point guard Tony Wroten led the Sixers with 20 points and nine assists.

West had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds.

"This win definitely builds confidence," Carter-Williams said. "For us to be in games and to come up clutch in clutch moments is great."

This marks the second straight game that the Sixers scored the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds. On Friday, Noel scored the go-ahead dunk with 3.2 seconds left in a 90-88 road win against the Brooklyn Nets.

No news on Kirilenko. Sixers coach Brett Brown said there was no update about Andrei Kirilenko. The team suspended the forward without pay for not reporting after being acquired in a trade with the Nets on Dec. 11.

"I always knew it was going to be difficult," Brown said about getting Kirilenko to play. "We wish him well. The bottom line is, he's a good man, a hell of a player. His resumé speaks for itself.

"I will let the front office deal with that situation."

Homecoming for Vogel. Saturday night was a homecoming of sorts for Pacers coach Frank Vogel. The 41-year-old is a native of Wildwood, and he had a brief stint as a Sixers assistant.

"It's never old hat, coming back here," he said of returning to face the Sixers. "It's always great to come back home. [You] land at the airport, see the Philadelphia sports complex, and thinking of driving over the Walt Whitman Bridge when I was little, seeing the Vet. . . . This place is always going to be special to me."

The coach was asked whether he still hurts when Philly teams are struggling.

"Well, the football team [Eagles], the baseball team [Phillies], and the hockey team [Flyers], yes," Vogel said. "I don't really care much what happens to the 76ers.

"Obviously, you want to see them do well, too, and [I] certainly hang on everything the Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles are doing."

 


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