76ers storm back from behind to topple PacersNov 15, 2008 - 5:44 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia 76ers are finally showing signs of life.
After being pronounced dead in the first quarter, the Sixers rebounded from a 26-point deficit to upend the Indiana Pacers, 94-92, on Friday.
The Pacers, who came into the game on a three-game winning streak, looked well on their way to a fourth as they got off to a 22-2 lead in the first quarter.
However, the Sixers slowly whittled away at the lead and came away with their second straight win. Point guard Andre Miller keyed a 13-2 run with a driving layup with less than three minutes remaining to give Philadelphia its first lead of the game at 92-90.
Indiana couldn't recover. Thaddeus Young paced Philadelphia with 25 points and 10 boards, while Elton Brand added 14 and 15 despite struggling from the floor.
"We kept on fighting," Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The way we got back into the game was our second unit. It would have been easy to quit but we just kept playing. It's not likely you can get down 26 and come back and win. Our bench got us back into it and then our starters finished."
"It was a great comeback by Philadelphia," Indiana head coach Jim O'Brien said. "Sometimes you get too big a lead early in the game ... and the NBA is a game of momentum shifts."
After storming to a big lead, the Pacers let up, allowing the Sixers to march into contention. They capitalized. The Sixers - who have struggled to consistently put points on the board - started to push the ball, get easy buckets in transition and get to the free-throw line. They outscored Indiana, 36-19, in the second frame alone to pull to within eight and begin their long comeback.
"We missed a lot of shots in the first quarter," Young said. "We knew the next three quarters that we had to dig in and keep fighting. It was a team effort. We played great team defense and fought our way back into the game."
Philadelphia, thought to be a major contender in the Eastern Conference after the acquisition of Brand in the offseason, have struggled to meet that early optimism with results. The Sixers scored less than 90 points in four of their first six games, but on Wednesday managed to break out of their slump with a 106-96 victory over the division rival Toronto Raptors. Brand scored a season-high 25 in the win.
The slump looked like it had returned through the first 12 minutes against the Pacers - but they more than made up for it over the final 36.
"The difference to me is we got inside the paint, defended their jump shots and didn't allow as many layups," Cheeks said.
However, they still had to overcome adversity to get the job done. The shooting struggles of rising star Andre Iguodala continued, as he hit just 2-of-12 from the floor. Still, he managed to register a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Brand, too, couldn't find his shot, finishing 4-of-17. But Young's contributions, among other things, helped make up for it.
"He was big. He made a lot of hustle plays out there, got a lot of tips, offensive rebounds and loose balls," Miller said. "It was just a great all around effort from him tonight."
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 18 points and Maurice Daniels added 17 and 10 boards, but the two scored 24 of their combined 35 points in the first quarter and went cold thereafter.
"We were attacking the basket (in the first quarter) and I thought we forgot who we are in the second quarter on a number of things, like transition defense," O'Brien said. "As good as we were in the first quarter, it was a ballgame at halftime."
INDIANA 92 FINAL
Nov 14 9:28 PM
INDIANA 78 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 14 8:53 PM
INDIANA 57 HALFTIME
Nov 14 8:16 PM
INDIANA 38 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 14 7:38 PM
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